Lesson Tee: Jeff Coston

The Lesson Tee: It’s time to stop being ‘trapped’ by the bunker and get out

I just gave another “Bunker Lesson” today. I could almost feel the tension rise as my client stepped into what they called “the TRAP.” I mentioned the first golfer who coined the word TRAP for BUNKER wasn’t very good at that aspect of the game.

Bunker play definitely has some technique; no question. Good bunker play, as in any aspect of the game requires a proper mindset also.

Bunker practice is usually an afterthought. Seldom practiced; usually as a 911 emergency rather than 411 information.

Here are some principles and ways to practice to improve “bunker play.”

The first thing you will need to do is start with a wide stance, far from the golf ball, low hands, ball forward, weight left, dig feet in sand. This set up is very important. Wide stance equals a solid base. Hands low uses the voice on the back/bottom of the club. Weight left to hit down and through the sand to propel the ball out of the sand.

Here is another non-negotiable! Most golfers need to open the club face at address to use the bounce of the club. Splash the sand with the bottom/bounce not the leading edge of the club face.

Check Photo 1. Imagine a square around your ball. With you weight feeling well left at address and staying there throughout the swing; take out all the sand in the square with the bounce of your wedge. This image is very helpful.

For every bunker shot, take the same amount of sand and use the same point into the sand. Your speed of rotation determines how far it goes. We know the club never strikes the ball. Taking out the square propels the ball out. Here is a great drill!