Video:How to Play Trouble Shots from Bunkerswith Todd Kolb
Bunker shots can be hard to master, so it's important to know how to approach them. Watch this About.com video to see instructions for playing trouble shots from a bunker.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Play Trouble Shots from Bunkers
Hey golfers, I'm PGA Teaching Professional Todd Kolb with About.com. I'm going to talk about trouble shots from the bunker.
What's a Trouble Shot From a Bunker?
There's a variety of different spots that a golf ball can come to rest in the bunker, and one of the first trouble shots that we need to address is when the ball rests on an uneven lie. We're talking about an uphill lie, a downhill lie, or a sidehill lie.
Trouble Shots from Bunkers: Uphill Lie
So this is an uphill lie; the sand is sloping uphill. The key to hitting this shot—the same as when it's on a downhill—is to take your shoulders and match them to the slope. So the slope of the sand is like so, I want to take my shoulders and match them to the slope. So you'll notice my right shoulder is lower than my left, so now my shoulders match the slope of the sand. When I do this, I can also then swing the club along the same angle as the sand, and that will help me hit my normal bunker shot.
Trouble Shots from Bunkers: Sidehill Lie
When the ball comes to rest on a sidehill lie—for example here, when the ball is a little bit below my feet—I'm going to want to just simply bend my knees a little bit more, and make sure I grip the club all the way at the end, to help accommodate for the ball being a little bit below me. The regular swing, though, and those types of stuff, is the same as a normal shot on a level lie. On the flip side, if the ball is above my feet—as you can probably guess—I'm going to go ahead and choke down on the club a little bit to accommodate for the ball being up. Once again, I'm going to get settled in like I did on a normal shot, choking up a little bit to accommodate for the ball being slightly above my feet.
More Tips for Playing Trouble Shots from Bunkers
In those situations where your ball comes to rest in the bunker, but you're standing outside the bunker, it's basically the same as when the ball is above your feet or below your feet. In this instance here, the ball's in the bunker and I'm out of it, but it's definitely below my feet. So, once again, I'm going to bend my knees more than normal, and I'm also going to grip the club all the way on the end.
When your ball comes to rest in an area where the sand was wet but now is kind of dried out, many times we call that kind of hard panned, where the sand is just kind of compacted. You want to play that shot almost like you would a regular chip shot off the grass. Take the clubface, make sure it's nice and square, so that as you come into the sand the leading edge is going to dig and get into the sand a little bit and get underneath the golf ball, and that ball will pop right out. If the ball comes to rest in an area of sand that's wet but hasn't dried out yet—so it's still a little bit wet—you want to play it basically the same way. Keep the club head nice and square so the club gets into the sand and will get underneath the ball a little bit and allow that ball just to pop right out.
So when your golf ball comes to rest in a bunker, you're going to be faced with a variety of different types of lies and textures, and hopefully these tips will help you hit a successful shot out of the bunker and onto the green.
For more information, visit About.com.