This helpful visual will improve every part of your bunker game

October 22, 2019

Every golfer, at one point or another, has had some trouble in a bunker. They’re one of the most difficult shots in golf, with a specific technique required for each different kind. It’s easy to forgot all the rules — and even if you don’t, executing them effectively is a whole different task.

But thankfully Bryan Pate, Director of Instruction at Martis Camp, is here to assist with a handy drill that will help you sort through it all.

Here’s what it looks like:


As you can see, Pate places four golf balls in a straight line in the sand. Then, he draws a staircase around them, moving down away from the target.

How does this help? Because the rectangle provides a visual for where your divot should be, and therefore where the club should first come into contact with the sand.

– So, for fairway and long bunker shots, when the ball is at the very front of the rectangle, you should be hitting the ball first, and your divot should be after the ball.

– For greenside bunker shots, you should hit the sand first, so your divot should extend before the ball and stretch until after the ball is gone.

– For you-can-get-away-with-it bunker shots, the ball as at the very back of the rectangle, meaning you’ve taken almost all of your sand before hitting the ball. If you swing hard enough, you can do this and get away with it, but it’s not advised.

– You should never take all your sand before you hit the golf ball. If you do, you’ll really struggle to get out of the sand consistently.

Something to keep in mind the next time you’re in the dreaded bunker.