When the ball’s above your feet in the bunker, use these 3 adjustments

Tricky bunker shot with the ball above your feet? GOLF Top 100 Teacher Josh Zander explains 3 adjustments to make for instant success

When the ball is above your feet in a bunker, these are the moves to make for instant success.

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Welcome to Shaving Strokes, a GOLF.com series in which we’re sharing improvements, learnings and takeaways from amateur golfers just like you — including some of the speed bumps and challenges they faced along the way.

Being in a bunker is tough. Being in a bunker with a tricky lie is even tougher — but it shouldn’t be as difficult as we often make it.

Around this time last year, I feared bunker shots. I had trouble using the bounce of the club to spray sand during my shot, and never knew if I’d have a solid out on the first attempt or if I’d mishit it and added a painful stroke to my scorecard.

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Thankfully, I’ve overcome those negative feelings and have started to see much more success when hitting from bunkers. Instead of just guessing on what was going to happen, I now understand the “why” — dialing in my setup, hand positioning and angle of attack.

Still, these types of shots can be daunting — especially when the golf ball is above your feet.

To help build your confidence, GOLF Top 100 Teacher Josh Zander has three simple adjustments to make when the ball is above your feet in the sand. So take a look below at what he suggests, and apply these tips to your next round in order to see the solid shots you’ve always envisioned.

How to hit a golf ball above your feet from the bunker

To see success from the sand, Zander reminds viewers that it doesn’t take wholesale changes — and says these are the three easy adjustments worth using.

Adjustment 1: Aim more to the right

“First of all, anytime the ball’s above your feet, the [club]face points more to the left, so you’re going to want to aim a little bit more to the right,” Zander says.

Adjustment 2: Move the ball back in the stance

“Also, when the ball’s above your feet, your club runs into the ground earlier, so we’re going to want to move the ball a little bit more back in the stance,” he adds.

Adjustment 3: Stay more upright

“The big thing here is trying to get the plane of your swing to match the fact that the ball’s above your feet, so we need a flatter swing,” Zander instructs. “A good way to get the swing flatter is to stay more upright.

“So I’m going to get to the ball with a little bit of knee flex, but I’m not going to get a lot of hip hinge. If my spine is more upright, then the club can swing more around.”

By putting all of this together, you can start to build more confidence and experience much better results anytime the golf ball is above your feet in the bunker.

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Nick Dimengo

Golf.com Editor