Video Series

Video Transcript

Can you chip a golf ball out of a bunker, now here’s a question that should be in two parts. Can you chip a ball from a bunker? Yes, should you chip a ball from a bunker? Probably not, so a chip out of a bunker implies clipping the ball cleanly without taking any sand so not sort of the casual the normal, hitting down, taking two inches of sand, sliding the club under the ball, playing it out for a proper bunker, that would be a splash or a blast bunker shot.

A chip bunker shot would be different. A chip bunker shot implies taking no sand at all, playing it clean off the surface. So yes you can play that shot. Should you? Maybe there’s a time and a place occasionally. What you’ll generally be looking for is a bunker that has very little sand in or one that’s very, very heavily compacted sand. And a shot where it doesn’t have to go particularly high and it has a bit of room to run.

So you might sort of consider a fairway bunker shot where you’ve got a little bit more distance to cover. You could chip off the ball clean off the surface there but for a standard green side bunker shot this is a very, very high tariff, high risk shot. If you were to play it and you found yourself in a relatively flat bunker with a bit of room to work with, but very little sand. And you could always check the sand by as you take your set, you screw your feet in and if your feet just land on top of clay or soil and there’s no real sand, that’s going to be a difficult bunker shot.

So you would take something like a pitching wedge or a gap wedge, something without a great deal of balance. You would grip down on the club, you would play the ball a little bit back in your stance and you would just try and play the ball as cleanly as possible without the big doff down like you would play in a normal bunker.

The best way of checking your technique for this will actually be just to jump out of the bunker, stand on the grass at the side of the bunker, have a couple of practice swings and get used to the feeling of almost skimming the ball off the surface without taking that doffing two inches of div like you would do in a normal bunker.

Then when you play the ball, remember you’re not allowed to ground the club in a bunker so you’d have to grip down, narrow the stance, play the ball in the back third, but still without grounding the club then a little short back swing, a little nudge forward because in a normal bunker you take sand which slows the club down. Here you’re not going to take any sand it’s going to come out quite quickly.

So we’ll just try nip it clean off the surface, there without taking too much sand. So yes you can chip a ball out of the bunker. It’s a high tariff shot, it’s probably something that needs a bit of practice and it’s probably something that only applies to people that play in very poor quality bunkers or bunkers that are really sodden and water logged and there’s very little sand in them.