How to Carry a Bunker and Make the Ball Sit


This story is for you if…

• You fear chipping over greenside bunkers

• You think you have to hit a flop to get over an obstacle

• You have trouble stopping the ball near the hole

The Situation

You have 20 yards to the hole, but there’s a bunker (or water, or a bush) in between.

The Solution

This appears to be a tricky situation, but it’s not. All of your wedges have enough loft to carry the bunker, so you don’t need to scoop, flop or lift the ball into the air. Plus, these are risky plays that pay off only once in a while. Just focus on making solid contact and actually hitting the ball low and you’ll end up in perfect shape.

How to Chip It Over and Close

Set up with the ball positioned in the middle of your stance, then lean your body toward the target so that your head is slightly in front of the ball. This sets you up to come down sharply into impact. While you may think hitting down creates a low shot, it’s actually what gets the ball into the air. If your impact position looks like the photo at right, the ball will fly high and land soft.

FEET Close together so you stand a little taller at address.

ARMS Keep them loose and feel as if they’re extending as you swing through impact.

EYES Maintain focus on the ball, not where it’s going. If you peek, your contact will suffer.

HANDS Swing them toward the target and you might shank it. Instead, move them to the left of your target after impact.

CLUBHEAD Try to brush the grass in front of the ball — it’s an easy way to stop thin and fat contact.


Make sure that the clubhead never gets higher than your hands from start to finish. In other words, keep your wrist hinge to a minimum. At the finish, your hands should be at hip height with the clubhead hovering near your left knee.