This bunker setup from a short game star will have you rethinking how to play from the sand

The game of golf has evolved tremendously over time, but there are still some players who stick to their laurels when it comes to making adjustments. While that doesn’t mean they’re using outdated clubs, it does mean they fail to adapt to things like a new grip or a more efficient setup — both of which can improve their scores.

One of the most common areas that this happens is with bunker play.

For decades, most players have had the same bunker setup, knowing that it’s always been effective at getting the ball out of the trap and (hopefully) close to the pin.

But what if I told you there’s a new, more modern, more athletic way of setting up for bunker shots? Would you be open to giving it a try?

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Try this modernized bunker setup

In the video above, that’s what Parker McLachlin, aka Short Game Chef, explains.

As McLachlin says, “it’s been preached for 40-plus years that you need to setup open, swing along your feet line, the ball will deflect off the club, and it will go towards the target.

“I’m here to debunk that myth, because the modern player does not play their bunker shots like that anymore.”

The old bunker setup

McLachlin says it’s time to reimagine your bunker setup from the typical way it’s been done.

As McLachlin shows in the video, the old way of setting up in the bunker is by using a really open stance, with your alignment often 45 degrees to the side of the flagstick.

By using an open stance, players then drag the club, hoping to deflect the ball towards the pin. But this can often cause mishits or having balls come out with too much speed, consequently running it past the hole.

A new approach to the bunker setup

Try this modernized approach for more successful bunker shots.

To have a bit more precision from the bunkers, McLachlin highlights the slight adjustments to make. While it’ll take some time to become comfortable, you should see improved results.

The first is using a square setup, as opposed to the open stance most people have always used. This allows your hands to stay firm instead of rolling over, and will help engage the bounce of the club.

Next, swing with more of a release than you’re used to, eliminating any drag in the handle. By doing this, your club will dig under the sand, squaring the clubface at impact.

“If you can set yourself up in the proper way, all of a sudden, your body’s going to start to respond in the correct way,” says McLachlin. “That is to get to the top, release it, and allow that clubhead to square back up to add loft at impact.”

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Nick Dimengo Editor