The newest member of the U.S. Open ruling class, 27-year-old Brooks Koepka, missed just 10 greens at Erin Hills—not exactly what you’d call “stressing” your sand game. But when the champ does go ker-splat, he’s a 50-50 bet to get up and down. His secret? Four can’t-miss moves you can copy right now.
1. THROW LEFT
Koepka has released his hands and clubhead past his body, with both finishing to the left of his chest. This “port-side” exit is evidence that he delivered the club on the correct angle and on a slightly out-to-in path—the key to nixing fat and thin contact.
2. LEAN IN
Koepka’s head and chest are over his left leg—a huge key. Most great bunker players “settle” into their front leg at address and increase the pressure (and flex) all the way through to the finish. Don’t worry, there’s enough loft on your wedge to blast it high without having to lean back.
3. FACE THE SKY
The toe of Koepka’s wedge hasn’t rotated past the heel, and he’s maintained a noticeable cup in his left wrist. Copy this! Keeping the face “open” as you swing through the sand makes blasting out easy. Your goal: Allow the club to pass your hands so the face points skyward well past contact with the bunker.
4. RELEASE UP
Koepka ends his blast with the clubhead high above his head, a by-product of his perfect rhythm. Try this: Start down from the top slowly, gradually gathering speed. Feel as though you’re reaching max velocity after impact. This will keep you from quitting on the shot as you enter the sand. If you release the club “up” as Koepka has done here, the ball will follow suit.