Practice Bunker Tips and Techniques

Bunker practice is not something that most golfers make time for as part of their usual practice routine. The average golfer will visit the driving range, roll a few putts, maybe hit a couple chips… and that’s about it. You can do better than that, and you’ll need to if you want to achieve your goals in this game. It is your job as a golfer to be prepared for as many situations as possible each time you step onto the course. Obviously, since bunkers are such a prevalent part of course design, you should be sure that you know how to escape them properly when the situation arises.

We hope that you now understand the need for bunker practice as part of your regular golf routine. When you do make time to practice some greenside bunker shots, keep the following tips and techniques in mind.

  • Vary the length of your shots. For starters, you should be attempting a variety of shot lengths as part of your practice routine. If you just hit the same shot over and over again, you will be well-prepared for that shot – and nothing else. Short greenside bunker shots tend to be easier than long explosion shots that need to travel most of the way across the green. Practice them both, but lean a little more toward the longer shots, since those are more difficult.
  • Vary the lie of the ball. Keeping with the theme of variety, you should also make sure you are playing from as many different kinds of lies as possible. You have no control over the lie of the ball once you hit a shot into a bunker, so you need to be prepared for as many different scenarios as possible. Pay attention to how the ball reacts when played from various types of lies so you can handle those same lies more effectively when they come up during a round.
  • Experiment with different techniques. You will need to find your own personal technique for getting the ball out of the bunker. We laid out some basic fundamentals earlier in this article, but there is still room for some personal style in this part of the game. Practice is the perfect time to experiment with different variations in order to find something that works well for you.
  • Always clean up. You are probably in the habit of raking bunkers after you use them on the course. Remember, the same rule applies when you are practicing. It is good etiquette to do a nice job of raking the practice bunker when you are done using it, so it’s ready to go for the next golfer. It will only take a few moments of your time to rake up, and you will be doing your part to maintain a quality practice area that everyone can enjoy.

It shouldn’t take long to get into a good routine when practicing your bunker play. You will come to think of this as just another part of what you do during each practice session, and it will gradually allow you to become a better overall golfer. Not only will you be able to execute better from a technical standpoint, but you will have more confidence when your ball drops into a bunker as well.