Swing Lesson for Sand Shots

This is the Basic Sand Shots Swing Lesson. This lesson is to help you develop a consistent swing that will help get you out of the sand trap every time. As you get used to the technique of this swing, then we can start hitting shots even closer to hole to save shots on your scorecard.

It is a lot of fun to hit a great escape shot from the sand and then make the putt for a sand save. That always a deserves a good fist pump! So grab your sand wedge and let's work on your sand swing technique.

This is the most important thing you need to know about hitting a green side bunker shot...DO NOT HIT THE BALL!!

Sounds strange doesn't it? But if you hit the ball you will send it screaming over the green into another bunker or the trees. You want to hit the sand behind the ball so that your club slides through the sand and under your ball. It is the sand that will push the ball out of the bunker. This will help your ball land nice and softly on the green.

Step One: Address Position

  • Please see the Sand Shots Setup Lesson for more details, but here are a few keys to the setup...
  • Your ball should be in line with your left instep.
  • Your weight should be leaning a little onto your left foot.
  • Dig your feet into the sand. This lowers your starting position, and helps you strike the sand first.

Click Here For A Complete Review Of The Sand Shots Setup Lesson

Step Two: Takeaway, Move Triangle

  • In your address position you form a nice triangle between your shoulders and your arms. For the first part of your backswing you want to use your shoulders and arms to maintain that triangle until the club is parallel to the ground.
  • If you keep that triangle intact then you will keep your club moving smoothly on the proper path.
  • If you bend your wrists or arms, it will be very difficult to get back to the spot in the sand you need to hit to make great sand shots.
  • You preset your weight forward when you took your address position. Don't let your weight move. Keep it forward. This will help make your swing just a little steeper, which is great for getting the club down and through the sand.

Step Three: Set Swing and Stop

  • The top of the back swing for this sand shot is only about half of a normal full swing. I like to call it the set swing position.
  • Your left arm should be parallel to the ground and you club should point to the sky. From the view in the picture you should have an “L” formed between your left arm and club.
  • Remember to keep your weight forward throughout the whole swing.
  • Another key for having a solid back swing position is to make sure your left wrist is flat. A flat left wrist keeps your club face square through the shot. It will help you get the club back to the proper impact position.
  • Take your club and get into the set swing position. Make sure your left wrist is flat. Now..while looking at your club face start bending your left wrist. See what an affect this has on your your clubface.

Step Four: Downswing, Body Together

  • Starting your move back to the ball is very important. You need to make it a smooth as possible. Any quick jerky movements could really throw off your timing, and lead to poor shots.
  • Once you have reached the end of your back swing, start turning your hips and shoulders towards your target at the same time. It is very important that your whole body and club work together to hit these shots.
  • Your weight is still forward from your address position, so you don't need to worry about transferring your weight during the shot.
  • By using your shoulders and hips, you will maintain a great “L” position going down to the ball. This is key for hitting great sand shots.
  • Losing the “L” position to early will cause you to have inconsistent contact with the sand. If you hit the sand in different places every shot then it becomes very hard to predict were your ball is going to go.

Step Five: Impact


  • The key to hitting the sand the same way every time is to make sure your left wrist is flat at impact. You will give yourself the best opportunity to hit great shots if your wrist is flat.
  • Your weight should not have moved. It should be the same as it was at address.
  • You want your hips to turn enough so that your belt buckle is pointing two yards in front of your ball. Getting you hips ahead like that helps create space for your arms and club to swing through the shot.
  • When you come into impact you want your club to hit the sand about two inches behind the ball. This will give your club enough room to slide through and under the ball without making contact.
  • For most sand shots you should make about a dollar bill size divot. Any bigger and you may leave the ball in the bunker. Smaller and you risk making contact with the ball and airmailing it over the green.

Step Six: Follow Through, More Triangles

  • Remember your back swing arm and shoulders triangle? You should also have that triangle on the follow through.
  • Using your triangle will get your club parallel to the ground and in line with your toes. This means that your club traveled a great path through your swing.
  • You need your hips to rotate through the whole downswing and follow through. They should be close to facing your target when your club is parallel. You want to make sure that your hips keep turning and and that they maintain their speed throughout your swing. If your hips slow down during the shot, you will most likely leave the ball in the bunker.
  • Your weight...I know you will be surprised...should be the same as at address. You may find that your momentum might put a little more weight on your left foot. That is okay.

Step Seven: Finish Position

  • Keep turning your hips and body so that they face the target.
  • Your hands should finish about shoulder height.
  • Your weight will have finally moved a little more onto your left foot.
  • You will know that you hit a great shot if you hear the sound of the club hitting the sand with a 'thump' sound. If you hear the 'click' of hitting the ball then you will most likely be watching it sail over the green.
  • You should make a nice sand divot when hitting sand shots. I always like to watch for how deep the divot goes. If you dig down to deep will not get the ball out because your club will get stuck in the sand. I don't want to see too much color change in the sand. The closer the bottom of the divot is in color to the top layer of sand the better.

Thank you for taking the Basic Sand Shots Swing Lesson. Once you are very comfortable with playing sand shots this way you can move on to the more versatile Advanced Sand Shots Lesson series. Be sure that you are getting out of the sand every time before you move on to the advanced series. Following the Basic Sand Shots Lesson series you can work on choosing the right club with the Basic Sand Shots Club Selection Lesson.

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

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