When a golf ball lands on the steep face of a greenside bunker, it will often roll down to the bottom of the sand. But not always. Sometimes the ball plugs into the slope; on slopes with less pitch, the ball will often stop before trickling all the way down.

The bad news is, playing from a steep bunker face can be awkward. The good news is, it’s not too difficult to extricate yourself. The key is not to try and lift the ball up and over the lip. The slope and your club’s loft will take care of that.

Follow these steps when faced with this shot:

    playing from a steep binker face 1

  1. Dig your right (back) foot firmly into the sand for stability. It’s easy to slide down the slope if you’re not securely planted.
  2. playing from a steep binker face 2

  3. Aim right of the target, as the ball will come out a little left (the more severe the incline, the farther left).
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  5. Play the ball slightly forward of the middle of your stance. With your feet spread evenly.
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  7. Align your body with the angle of the slope, leaning into it just a bit.
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  9. Swing aggressively, hitting the sand no more than an inch behind the ball. It’s not necessary to follow through with the clubhead.
  10. The ball will fly very high and land softly, with little or no backspin.