Keys to Successful Golf Bunker Play

With only two key shots available to golfers regarding golf bunker play (the splash or the explosion), the splash shot should be used at all times possible.

The first rule in playing the splash shot, is to learn how to use the sand wedge. The splash shot is the type of shot your sand wedge was built for. The design of this particular club was made to deflect up on its own when it hits the sand or bounce and is the reason why the back of the club is higher than the front to prevent digging.

Being successful out of the bunker with the splash shot depends on three key things: correct setup, proper technique and consistent point of entry.

The correct set-up for your golf bunker play should be more level then a standard shot , so the impact position can also be more level, you dont move your lower body much when playing your bunker shots rather keeping the base of your swing solid.

Looking from the front angle the easiest way to get the club face open is to move your hands back into the middle of your stance, this will make your left hand grip strong perhaps you might see 3-4 knuckles. Place your right hand on the club without changing much creating hands that will be apposing each other.

What this does is help get the clubface open as you begin your back swing your arms won't move far to do this , and then through the ball you keep the loft on the face which looks like you are flipping the club, its a strange but bunker shots don't work when you try and hold onto your wrist conditions going through the ball.

The splash shot requires the club to lightly deflect off of the sand immediately after moving through the surface. To the player not skilled enough to work with the splash, exploding the ball is the safest route.

Golf Keys To Successful Golf Bunker Play Australia

The Explosion Shot

The explosion shot is a completely different animal than the splash. There is more than one situation where you may want to opt for this shot. The obvious situation is when your ball is buried deep in the sand. You have no choice here – you have to use the explosion shot.

A second scenario is the “fried egg” this is when the ball is deep enough in the ground with no sand behind it for the club to enter. A highly skilled professional may be able to use the slash here and make it work, it is usually best for you and I to choose the explosion.

Whatever situation you fall into warrants an explosion shot, how far the ball lands and rolls after exploding out of the sand depends on several factors:

1) How hard you swung the club.

2) The type of club used (the sand wedge is not always used in the bunker).

3) How close to the ball you slam the club into the sand.

4) And finally, the type of sand in the bunker.

The number one goal and primary focus of the explosion shot is to dig the club down into the sand. For those of you have experienced at the splash shot, you will notice that this goal of digging the club down with the explosion is the exact opposite motion.

Think of the clubhead like a shovel, digging underneath (and behind) the ball for a quick, forward-traveling amount of sand to help lift the ball up and towards the green.

Always do your best to play the explosion shot from a square stance. You want the clubface to be square to the target line, therefore, if you open up your stance as you would when initiating a splash shot, you may end up leaving the ball in the bunker or yanking it wildly to the left.

Playing this shot you want to lean your body in towards the target. When you set up to the ball, place most of your weight on the left leg. You should feel as though your head is ahead of the ball. Keep these two feelings throughout the entire swing.

Forget the follow through. playing the explosion shot properly, and in the right circumstances, you really should not have the room for a follow through due to the angle of the club when it strikes the sand.

Position the ball as far back as you can right along the inside of the right shoulder. This tip is important because you want the club to come into the ball at a very steep angle. And the deeper buried that the ball is, the farther back in your stance you will want it during address.

Choose the right club. The best club to use for the explosion shot is a personal choice on your part. Keep in mind the deeper the ball is buried in the sand, the harder it is to get the sand wedge far enough down in order to bring it up. Some players choose the pitching wedge. You could even give the 8 iron or 9 iron a go, depending on how far you want the ball to roll once it lands on the green.