This easy setup trick is your key to simplifying bunker shots

adam hadwin hits a shot out of the bunker during the 2024 Sony Open

Pros make hitting out of the sand look simple. Here's how you can, too.

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I’ve seen recreational players attempt bunker shots in all sorts of ways — most of them wrong. It’s a unique situation that calls for a unique setup. 

Try this. In a practice bunker, draw a line in the sand perpendicular to your target line (below). Set the ball on this line. Now draw two lines veering out from the first, creating an arrow. Set your feet along these two lines — “flared,” so to speak, which will help you better open your hips through impact and give you the correct “squatting” feel at address. 

shawn koch demonstrates proper bunker technique
This setup trick will make bunker shots a breeze. Christoper Lane

As you get into your address, hover the clubhead behind the ball with the shaft parallel to the dotted line. That’s right — no need to lean the shaft back or toward the target or unduly open the face. As you start your swing, forget the ball. 

Your goal is to enter the bunker slightly behind the dotted line and hold the face open (just keep your lead wrist quiet through impact) so you splash sand under the ball at the target. 

Simple? Yes. Effective? Just try it. 

Shawn Koch is a GOLF Teacher to Watch and is the director of instruction at Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek, Ga.

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