Golf Bunker Play Secrets: How To Improve Distance Control

The Fear Of The Sand

If your ball lands in a bunker on the course, all is not lost. Many people are terrified of playing out of bunkers but it's easy once you know how to control your distance. In this article, I will explain to you how to improve your distance control so that you don't go through the green by hitting the bunker shot too long and that you don't hit it too short and leave the ball at your feet in the bunker.

Less Sand = More Distance

Remember that the less sand you hit behind the ball, he father will ball will travel. The opposite is also true - if you take a lot of sand then the ball not go very far. So for a short bunker shot, you want hit more sand behind the ball and for longer bunker shot you want to hit less sand and more ball.

Longer Swing = More Distance

As you know from thrashing your drives on the range, a bigger swing hits the ball further. Take a long backswing and a full follow-through out of the bunker if the flag is further away. If you find your ball right under the lip of the bunker and you only want it to travel a few feet, take the club back a short distance and "chop off" the follow through.

More Loft = Less Distance

Opening the face of the club (pointing the clubhead towards the sky) will make the ball go higher and travel a shorter distance. Your shot will also have more spin as it comes out of the bunker and lands on the green. The means it will land softly with backspin. To achieve the opposite effect, you need to close the face of the club. Shutting down the face like this will make the ball go further and it will roll further when it lands due to over spin.

Remember, if you don't want to manipulate the lie in this way, there is nothing in the rules of golf stopping you from using a pitching wedge or 9-iron out of a bunker. This is a useful tip if the green is over 30 yards away. Don't feel that you have to use a sand wedge from the bunker every time just because of the name.

Some professionals actually prefer to hit the ball out of sand rather than long rough. They feel that they can control the ball better out of the bunker. There is nothing stopping you having the same mindset.