The only sand a golfer likes to visit is on a beach but, inevitably, it happens on the golf course, too. For some it can be a daunting proposition but heed a few basic tips and soon your bunker play will approximate a pro’s.
Getting out of sand traps successfully is mostly a function of the proper setup. When taking your stance make sure your feet are positioned at least 33% open (left) to your target line with a slightly wider stance than normal.
Bend your knees in an athletic posture and put 60% of your weight on the left side. Open the club face 45% so it points right of the target line. Now you are set up to hit a standard green side bunker shot.
When playing the shot use a relaxed grip, do not squeeze it to death, you want your wrists and arms loose.
Now imagine your golf ball is sitting in the sand in the center of a dollar bill pointing at the target. Your objective is to enter the sand at the beginning of the dollar bill and blast through the sand, exiting at the opposite end of the dollar bill.
In golf we are taught to hit the ball first then the ground, in the bunker we hit the sand first driving the club through the sand so the ball is ejected actually by a cushion of sand. In order to remove the sand and the ball you will need more force than normal so don’t be afraid to swing at it. Do not flip your wrists, try to keep the face of the sand wedge pointing towards the sky in your follow through.
One further tip, when playing these shots make sure you maintain the same amount of flex in the left knee throughout the entire swing so that your body stays level preventing fat or thin contact. Now, just practice to gauge how hard to swing for various distances.
That’s it! Enjoy your time at the beach and in the bunker!