How To Pick a Ball up out of the Sand Everytime

Sand shots and bunkers in general are hazards and are punishments for wayward shots.

Steep walls, thick fine sand and the fear of missing the green from the sand mean the average golfer has two main motivations; Miss the sand by hitting a good shot, or learning to master the sand and make it your 'go to' shot when needed.

Easier said than done hey?

Sand shots are a part of the game, and love them or hate them, no golfer can ignore them. 

A golfer who is in a sand trap or bunker has been punished by missing the target, as it is highly unlikely you would want to end up there, unless you are a sand shot master.  Pros prefer a sand shot, most of us mere mortals do not.

Bunker shots and the consistent skill to get out first time onto the green will help improve your game and reduce frustrations. They are also an opportunity if you can master the sand. We all know from previous experience they can also ruin a round quickly within a few strokes. 

A bad day in the sand will add up to a larger score than necessary. Improving your bunker shots, shot in the pot, are a key to going low. There are different reasons sand shots can be so difficult... super fine bunkers where a plug is likely, or a poached egg as the balls impact creates a mini crater. Wet bunkers where you cannot get under the ball which creates the often witnessed shot out and right over the green. 

Of course an article on bunker play would not be complete without the mention of the mental implosion experienced by so many golfers. They try to take on a sand shot with poor technique and low expectancy of a favourable result. Decelerate on the shot and they are looking at taking another shot from the same spot. 

The trick is how do golfers of limited skill in and around the sand master the bunker shots required to get their hole back on track? Solid sand shots build confidence, we will explore consistency and lower your score. 

Pick A Spot > Hit That Spot

Select a spot, like a small stone or blemish in the sand and stroke through that spot cleanly. 

Pick the spot > hit the spot. If you do not have a spot or target to aim at it is likely you will not hit the shot correctly, as you have no target, so you need to create one. 

Step One Pick a Spot. 

Strike the Match 

Once you have selected a spot in the sand, the next job is to create a swing that has all the acquired attributes of a good shot, remembering that this is the only shot where you do not hit the ball. You ‘Hit that Spot’ to generate a favourable result, flopping the ball with a scoop/divot of sand, on to the green in the general direction of the pin. 

Step Two Hit that Spot. 

Practice this aspect of bunker shots and keep it simple. Identify the spot, usually 1 to 2 inches behind the golf ball, swing a steady swing with tempo and do not decelerate. Our Go Lo Pro On course drills will cover this technique in detail in the sand.

Click on the link below to download the PDF document regarding this simple drill or click on the link below to watch the video of Alan cooper in the sand.