Advanced Golf Bunker Shot Swing Lesson

This is the Advanced Golf Bunker Shot Swing Lesson. This lesson is designed to help you build a repeatable swing so that you can get yourself out of the hardest of situations in green side bunkers.

Sand traps are often viewed with fear and concern...which often makes us hit into them as we are trying to avoid them. However, by using the Advanced Sand Play Setup Lesson, and the Advanced Sand Play Grip Lesson along with this swing lesson, you will be able to hit great recovery shots from the traps.

Once that happens it will help make your iron game better because you won't be concerned about going into the sand. You will be able to be more aggressive, which should give you more confidence with your irons because you know you will have a really great opportunity at recovering from any trouble.

Step One : Address

Please refer to the Advanced Golf Bunker Shot Setup Lesson, for a detailed routine and a consistent setup.

A few key points...

Step Two : The Takeaway


  • Your arms and shoulders form a nice triangle at the address position.
  • On the takeaway you want to keep that triangle intact.
  • Your weight should not move on the backswing. You don't need the extra power. You do want to have great precision of entering the sand at the right place to execute your shot. Shifting your weight is not necessary...and we always try to avoid unnecessary movements.
  • The main difference between this swing and a regular full swing is that will engage the hands and wrists a lot earlier is the sand shot. You will get a better of how quickly the wrists are engaged in the next picture.
  • Notice how the wrists are already hinging. This helps make your swing steeper than normal. You need a steeper swing to get great results.
  • The key to this swing is to let your club follow your shoulders on the backswing. Since your shoulders are pointing left and are open to the target, your backswing should actually go to the outside of your target line.
  • This picture was taken along the target line so that you could see the path of the club. The target line points straight from your ball to your target. On most shots your club would come back straight along your target line. As you can see, in this case, your club will move well outside (to the right) of your target line.
  • Don't worry though...since you have opened your club face you will still hit your shot towards your target.

Step Three : Set Swing

  • You only need to take the swing as far back as the set swing position. This means that your left arm should be parallel to the ground. Any longer swing than this can create consistency issues. Keep the swing short. You will have plenty of power to hit all the shots necessary.
  • In fact...you should make your backswing this long for 95% of all green side golf bunker shots that you will ever hit. It is only in very specific situations that you want to vary the length of your backswing.
  • It is the follow through that controls the distance. Please see the Advanced Golf Bunker Shot Distance Control Lesson for more detail.
  • Click Here To Preview The Advanced Sand Play Distance Control Lesson
  • Remember to keep your weight on your front foot. This and your early wrist hinge will make your swing steep enough without any special manipulation.
  • Make sure that when you make your backswing that turn your arms shoulders and chest all together. Try to keep your hands in front of your chest. If you do you will be making an excellent backswing.

Step Four : The Downswing

  • Once you have finished your backswing, start your downswing by turning your hips towards your target.
  • You don't have to worry about shifting your weight because you preset it forward at your address position.
  • Your shoulders arms and club should move with your hips. Don't leave them behind by only moving your hips. You want them to be moved by your hips. This will keep your club on line as it makes it's way to impacting the sand.
  • By using your hips first, you almost guarantee that you will keep your wrist hinge during the downswing. If you lose the ā€œLā€ formed by your club and arm too early there is a very good chance you will either hit way behind the ball and leave the ball in the bunker, or you will hit the ball and send it screaming over the green. Neither option helps your score very much.

Step Five : Impact

  • Your club should enter the sand about 2 inches behind the ball. This can vary slightly, and it is truly up to you how much sand works best for your swing and sand wedge. Just be careful, because if you take less than an inch you run the risk of clipping the ball and sending it over the green. If you take more than 3 inches you risk taking too much sand and leaving the ball in the bunker.
  • Make sure your left wrist is flat and that the back of your left hand is facing the target. If so, then your club will maintain it's open position at impact. This will help you slide under the ball, and hit a higher flying and softer landing shot.
  • Keep your weight exactly where it started. This will create the proper angle of attack into and through impact. Do not let your weight fall back towards your right foot. That would lead to very inconsistent contact.

Step Six : Post Impact

  • The one thing you want to see in this picture is how the clubface is still open past impact. This means I have maintained the loft of my sand wedge and am going to get great height on my shot. You club face should be facing the sky.
  • You will have the same results if you keep turning your hips and shoulders through and past impact. If the ever stop turning towards the target, you will end up having to use your hands to make up it. Your brain knows what you are trying to do...so if you stop one action from trying to hit the shot your brain will get something else to takeover to try and pull off the shot. 99% of the time the brain sends in your hands. You don't want that to happen because your hands will roll your club over and close the face.
  • Make sure that you turn your body through the shot so that you can maintain the loft of your club.

Step Six : The Finish

  • Your hands and club will finish at different heights based on the length of your shot. Please see Advanced Golf Bunker Shot Distance Control Lesson.
  • Your weight still has not moved much. Momentum of the swing may put even more of your weight onto your left foot...and that's okay.
  • Check your divot after your shot. We want as shallow a divot as we can get without hitting the ball. You don't want your club to dig down too much. When you create a divot you will see the sand will darken in color as you get deeper in the sand. Try to keep the bottom of your divot as light a color as possible without making contcat with your ball.

Thank you for taking the Advanced Golf Bunker Shot Swing Lesson. It takes a little getting used to this swing, but it can be very effective. The next lesson in the Advanced Golf Bunker Shot series is Advanced Golf Bunker Shot Distance Control. We want to make our game as versatile as possible so that we can handle as many game situations as possible.

Click Here To Go To The Advanced Golf Sand Shot Distance Control

Good luck with your practicing and playing. May you reach your golf goals sooner with the help of free-golf-lessons.com.

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