Here’s how to stick it close out of the bunker every time

Krista Dunton bunker impact

A bunker shouldn't derail your round. Build your confidence to make bunker play a strength rather than a weakness.

Krista Dunton

Hitting great bunker shots starts with your confidence! Too many players go into a bunker fearing the worst and praying to “just get out.” We need to change that mind set because being more confident will lead to better mechanics, and having better technique will lead to better shots, thereby increasing your confidence and results!

A good bunker shot starts with your setup.

Krista Dunton

Hunker in the bunker

Hitting an effective bunker shot starts with your setup, when you first dig your feet into the bunker. (Check out the depth of my stance in the photo on the left.)

If you watch great bunker players, you’ll see that they dig their feet and “hunker in the bunker” with confidence and swagger.

Digging in your feet this way widens your stance so your hands can lower slightly at address.

Blast the castle

Players are often told to hit two or three inches behind the ball, but end up hitting four to six inches behind it instead, which results in either leaving the ball in the bunker or skulling it over the green.

I want you to actually hit under the ball so the club splashes the sand closer to the ball. To understand what this feels like, try building a small sand castle in the sand and place a golf ball on top of it.

Next, dig your feet in (“hunker in the bunker”), put some pressure on your front leg and keep your upper body over the ball.

Your ball position should be a little forward, with your hands in the middle. Your goal is to blast the castle with the back of the club!

A strong bunker game can make a huge difference in your scoring.

Krista Dunton

Bunker keys to remember

  • Keep pressure on your front leg, and keep the center of your chest over the ball — not behind it.
  • Remember to turn your shoulders and make a three-quarter backswing
  • Be sure to swing through the shot into a full finish with most of your weight on your front leg
  • Use light grip pressure!
  • Be free with the club head. Let it get thrown under and past the ball, and through to your left. Keep the club head swinging on a small arc.

Looking for more women’s golf instruction? Check out GOLF’s new women’s interest landing page, at golf.com/womensgolf.

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