Phil Mickelson rocks short-game shots like no other, so copy Lefty’s best bunker moves for your own encore-worthy escapes.
1. KEEP THE FACE OPEN
Even this far into his release, Phil is holding the face wide open—it’s the secret to high, soft bunker shots. Imagine that the clubface is a soup spoon. Through impact, try to keep the soup in the spoon. In other words, don’t roll your wrists.
2. PICK THE RIGHT WEDGE
Elite bunker players like Lefty choose clubs based on the sand conditions. In fluffy stuff, he’ll pull the wedge with the most bounce—this allows the club to glide through the bunker instead of digging. Firm sand? Less bounce makes all the difference.
3. SWING THE SHAFT
Phil’s clubhead has moved past the ball, which means that it also moved past his hands after impact—a key factor in a good all-out release. This move may not be ideal for, say, a long-iron swing, but it’s great for escaping greenside bunkers. Think “fast clubhead, slow handle.”
4. JOIN THE ARMS RACE
You can’t see it, but trust me—his arms, not his legs, are powering this swing. Throughout your motion, maintain a quiet, stable lower body and keep the spine angle you had at address.