Golf Tips The Green Side Bunker Shot: (a.k.a. On the Beach)

A Sand Wedge is the club of choice for this shot. It is built specifically to glide the club-head through the sand. If you play golf and don’t have a sand wedge, make it your next purchase. The game of golf is a lot easier with a sand wedge in your bag.

The green side bunker shot is a blast of sand and ball at the same time. Please notice in the first picture, that the ball has been positioned just off my left foot. The next picture shows a regular swing, and in the right picture you’ll see that the club head made impact with the sand just off my right foot. The club did not actually make contact with the ball, but rather it impacted the sand several inches behind the ball. The momentum of the impact took sand and the ball together, out and on to the green.

This bunker shot does require practice making contact with the sand behind the ball, but without hitting the ball itself. It helps to open the club-face, adding additional loft and allowing the bottom of the club head to slide through the sand and under the ball. This will send the ball out slightly to the right, so aim left a bit.

If you have 10 yards to the pin from your golf ball’s position in the sand, you will need to hit this shot with the same effort it would take to hit a shot 30 yards from a good lie in the grass. Sand is heavier and more dense than grass and requires more effort to swing through it. Make a good shoulder turn, transfer your weight to the back foot and then pivot your entire body through this shot. Don’t be shy – hit this shot with authority.

One final reminder:

Remember that the rules of golf to not allow us to ground the golf club (or touch the sand with the club) prior to hitting the shot. There is a two shot penalty if your club makes contact with sand while preparing to swing. Hold the club behind the ball and above the sand as demonstrated in the picture on the left.

And finally, good golf etiquette will have us find the rake and smooth the sand from all of our foot-prints and where the club displaced the sand. This will leave the bunker in the same good condition you found it in, for the golfers playing behind you. Thank you!