This technique makes one of the hardest shots in golf a breeze

golfer hits greenside bunker shot

A long pitch from a greenside bunker is one of the most difficult shots in golf.

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There is no shot more difficult for the average recreational golfer than a long pitch from a greenside bunker. Just getting the ball out of the sand can be a difficult proposition at times, and when you add in the delicate touch needed to control your distance properly, the shot becomes all the more difficult.

But while these shots can be difficult, they aren’t impossible. In fact, if you use the proper technique, these shots can be a breeze. GOLF Top 100 Teacher Jonathan Yarwood explains how in the video below.

“The high spinny shot is too high risk — it’s very hard to judge when it’s long distance,” Yarwood says. “So I’ve created a shot I call a ‘chunk and run.'”

As the name suggests, this is a shot that you are going to intentionally chunk, and then let it run toward the hole.

“Once it hits the green, because of the less backspin, it’s going to [forward] spin immediately,” Yarwood says. “You’re almost deliberately mishitting it. It’s a no-brainer shot.”

rickie fowler hits bunker shot
Use this bunker technique to escape the sand every time
By: E.A. Tischler, Top 100 Teacher

To hit the shot, set up to the ball like you would on any normal bunker shot with an open stance and the ball forward in your stance. However, instead of opening the clubface, hold the face square at address.

Next, make a wide and abbreviated backswing with not as much wrist hinge as you’d have on a normal bunker shot. When you make your downswing, roll the toe of the club over through impact and decelerate as the club travels through the sand. The ball should come out with very little spin and roll out toward the hole.

“It’s a great way — a no-brainer way — to get it close to the flag when it’s a long way from you,” he says. “If you hit it, tell your mates you did it on purpose.”


Zephyr Melton Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf. He can be reached at