How to Stop Leaving It in the Sand
3 keys to escaping bunkers in one swing
By Rick Barry
Top 100 Teacher
This story is for you if...
• Your struggle to get out of greenside bunkers
• When you do get out, you do so just barely and leave the ball way short of the hole
• You don't know how far behind the ball you should hit
You never hit the ball high enough or far enough to get it out of the sand and close to your target.
Why That Happens
Your bunker swing is too shallow.
Use these three keys and you'll learn to correctly hit down into the sand and never leave a bunker shot short again.
1. Practice bunker shots with a tee stuck in the top of your grip (see photo). At the top of your backswing, the tee should point down at the sand. This makes your swing a little steeper so you can properly hit down into the sand behind the ball and explode it out.
The tee should point down at the top...
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2. Finish your follow-through with the tee pointed at the target and your elbows pointed at the ground. This will ensure that you don't quit on the shot and that you make a full swing. If your elbows are pointed out then you likely bladed the shot.
...and up toward your target at the finish.
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3. When you set up for your bunker shot, dig your toes into the sand. This lets your swing naturally bottom out under the ball. Don't worry about hitting a precise spot behind the ballyou can hit anywhere from 2-4 inches back. As long as the tee in your club points at your target, your ball will explode out and reach the green.