Correct Aim for Greenside Bunker Shots

In this article, we want to present you with a few tips that have to do with lining up your greenside bunker shots.

  • Aim the face, not your feet. When trying to hit a specific line with your bunker shots, the idea is to aim the face of the club at the target line while standing with your feet open to that line. You want to stand open so you can swing across the ball at impact. By swinging across, it will be easier to cut under the ball and get the shot up in the air. To give yourself the best possible chance to aim properly, start by setting the club face in the right position before you settle into your stance. Once you are happy with the aim of the club face, then move your feet into a comfortable spot and get ready to swing.
  • Take the slope into account. We mentioned slope within bunkers earlier, but we need to touch on the point again here. The slope of the ground under the ball is likely to impact the path the ball takes as it pops up into the air. Typically, the ball is going to move in the same direction as the slope. In other words, if the ball is above your feet, the ball should move to the left. Or, if the ball is below your feet, it should move to the right. The impact here will not be as significant as when hitting a full shot from an uneven lie, but it is still enough to factor into the equation.
  • Don’t make a careful swing. With all this talk about hitting the right line, you might be tempted to make a cautious swing as you guide the ball toward the hole. That would be a costly mistake. Once you settle on a line, and you align the club face properly, the only thing left to do is make a confident and aggressive swing. Trying to guide the ball out of a trap is a mistake because you need plenty of swing speed to get through the sand properly. It is important to separate the process of making decisions from the process of making a swing. Once you have settled on a plan for the shot, put all of the strategic thoughts to the side and hit the best possible shot. This is good advice not only when you are standing in a greenside bunker, but for any shot you play around the course.

Too many golfers are just happy to get the ball out of a bunker with a single swing. Sure, that is the main goal of any bunker shot, but you can set your aspirations a little higher. If you take a moment to think about the proper line for your shot – including factoring in the break of the green – you will improve your odds of leaving yourself with a short putt. And who knows, if you make the effort to read the green carefully, you might even knock a bunker shot into the hole from time to time. We hope the advice offered in this article will raise your bunker game to a new level. Good luck!