Hitting Great Bunker Shots Just Got Easier

If you’ve struggled with bunker shots, this post is tailored to demystify some common misconceptions and enhance your technique. Today, we’re diving deep into effective bunker play strategies that transcend traditional advice. Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned golfer, these insights will elevate your game.

Step 1: Understanding the Traditional Bunker Shot

Traditionally, golfers are taught to open the clubface, cup the wrist, and use a low shaft position to maximize loft and expose the club’s bounce. However, this approach is not always necessary, especially in bunkers with less sand. Contrary to popular belief, you might want to do the opposite in certain conditions to achieve better results.

Step 2: Redefining Shaft Lean and Clubface Position

A crucial misunderstanding in bunker play is the role of shaft lean and clubface orientation. For a basic bunker shot, aim to:

  • Keep the clubface square or slightly open.
  • Avoid excessive wrist cupping; maintain a flatter wrist.
  • As you swing, ensure the club shaft is leaning forward at impact to maintain bounce without excessively opening the face.

Step 3: Adjusting for Sand Depth

In deeper sand, traditional methods might prompt the club to skip off the surface prematurely. Instead:

  • Implement moderate shaft lean.
  • Move forward through your swing, aligning the club shaft vertically to still use the bounce effectively without overly opening the face.
  • Rotate your body to align with the target, ensuring the club moves left of the target line, optimizing the bounce and loft interaction.

Step 4: Fine-Tuning Your Approach

Depending on the sand’s compactness and your comfort level, you may tweak your technique by:

  • Slightly cupping the wrist to adjust the bounce.
  • Keeping the face open and ensuring the shaft leans forward at impact.
  • For firmer sand conditions, reduce the club’s bounce by minimizing wrist actions and focusing on a clean, forward-leading swing.

Step 5: Mastering Varied Sand Conditions

For extremely soft sand, traditional methods like rolling the clubface open and using a pronounced wrist cup can be effective. However, ensure you do not overly rotate the clubface to square at impact to avoid losing the intended bounce.


Understanding and adapting your bunker shot technique based on the sand conditions and your swing style is key to success. Remember, the traditional teachings might not always apply, so experiment with these steps to find what works best for your game. Keep practicing, and don’t hesitate to break away from the norms to develop a more effective bunker strategy.