Your Trusted Source for Setting Up For a Sand Shot

This is the Basic Sand Shot Setup Lesson. This lesson is designed to put your club and body in the proper positions. Your setup position is critical for all shots, and that certainly applies for sand play. Use this lesson to get setup so that you can get yourself out of the sand trap every time.

Teaching pros often say that the bunker shot is the easiest in golf. (I can hear you laughing and scoffing at that notion!) But, with a good setup the shot is much easier to play. Grab your sand wedge and let's work on building your setup for sand shots.

Basic Rules

  • You are not allowed to touch the sand with your club until you are actually hitting your shot. This means you have to hover your club above the sand as you prepare to make your swing.
  • It's a two shot penalty if you touch the sand at the wrong time.

Step One: Hover Club Above Sand

  • While standing outside the bunker put your full swing grip on the club.
  • Step up to your ball.
  • Stand with your feet together, while hovering your club over your ball. Aim your club at your target.
  • Your ball should be lined up in between your toes.

Step Two: Spread and Dig Feet into Sand

  • Keep hovering your club during the whole setup process.
  • Spread your feet so that the outside edges of your feet are shoulder width apart.
  • When you move your feet, shift them so that your ball is in line with your left instep. This is extremely important for hitting a good shot. As you will see in the Sand Play Swing Lesson, you want to strike the sand before the ball. You must have your ball further forward in your stance than for a shot from the grass, so that you strike the sand behind the ball and then slide your club underneath the ball.
  • Dig your feet into sand, so that the sand comes up over the edges of your shoes.
  • Digging your feet in gives you better stability and balance throughout your swing.
  • It also lowers your body into the sand. Lowering your body, also lowers the club. This makes it much easier to hit the sand first and slide the club under the ball.
  • Try and get the sand to come over the lip of the soul of your shoe.

Step Three: Body Square

  • Keep your feet and hips parallel to the target line.
  • Stand up straight with your knees locked.
  • Unlock your knees, so that if you looked down you would not be able to the laces of your golf shoes.
  • Then, push your butt backwards so that you feel as if your butt was just behind your heels. This will help you maintain your balance, and most importantly keep you back straight. It is amazing how hard it is to hit great shots with a rounded back.

Step Four: Shoulders Square, Club Up

  • Keep your shoulders square to the target line.(the line between your ball and your target.)
  • Remember, your club must still be hovering in the air. It is still not allowed to touch the sand.
  • Notice how straight your back will be if your stick your butt backwards properly. This helps prevent injuries, and makes it easier to make a good swing.

Step Five: Weight, Hand, Ball Position

  • Your weight should be leaning on your left foot. You want to preset you weight shift, because it will stay there through the entire shot. If you preset your weight, it is one less motion to worry about during your swing. It is always easier to be consistent when we get rid of unnecessary motion.
  • Keeping your weight forward during your swing will help make your swing steeper, which is good for sand shots.
  • Your hands should be placed so that if you let go of your club the grip end would hit you on the inside of your left leg.
  • With your ball position forward, this will place your hands slightly behind the ball, which is perfect for executing a great sand shot.

Thank you for taking the Basic Sand Play Lesson. The next lesson in theBasic Sand Play Series is Basic Sand Play Alignment. Please be sure that you are comfortable with the setup positions before you move on to any other sand lesson. Because you strike the sand before the ball to hit this shot properly you want to have a consistent setup so that you hit the sand in the same spot every time. Otherwise it makes sand play very unpredictable.

Click Here To Go To The Basic Sand Play Alignment Lesson

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

Return to the Main Sand Shot Page 

Return to the Home Page from the Sand Shot Set Up Page