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Expert Tips for Perfecting Your Golf Bunker Setup: Improve Your Short Game Today!

If you've ever found yourself struggling in the bunker, you know how frustrating it can be to watch your ball land in the sand and wonder how you'll ever get it out. But fear not, there are ways to master the bunker shot and come out on top.

One of the most important aspects of a successful bunker shot is your setup. Your alignment should be square to slightly open in relation to your target, and you should have a wide stance with both feet pointing 45 degrees out. Additionally, your grip should be turned so that your top hand's thumb points straight down the shaft and your trail hand is more on top of the grip with the "V" between your thumb and forefinger pointing to your chin. Keep these tips in mind and you'll be well on your way to hitting better bunker shots.

“To excel at bunker shots, golfers must focus on their setup.” Tim Krumnow

Bunker Setup:

  1. Alignment should be square to slightly open in relation to your target (the hole is not always your target on sloping greens)

  2. Wide stance with both feet pointing 45* out. Hands lower than normal. It should feel as though you are sitting. Put majority of weight on front leg. This stabilizes your lower body and prevents excessive movement.

  3. Grip turn top hand where the thumb points straight down the shaft instead of off center as in a “normal” full swing grip. Trail hand should be more “on top” of the grip with the “V” between your thumb and forefinger pointing to your chin. This is the same grip you should use for finesse chips and pitches where you need more bounce to keep the club from digging as well as more loft or height on ball flight.

  4. Ball Position should be forward of center to encourage hitting sand first. Shaft lean should be away from the target or the grip should be pointing more towards your belt buckle.

  5. Club choice:

    • Normal sand use a medium to high bounce wedge (10*-12*)

    • Fluffy white sand use a high bounce wedge (12*-16*)

    • Wet or thin sand use a low bounce wedge (6*-8*)

    • When you enter the sand to dig in your feet you can feel the type and depth of the sand. This is when you can determine what bounce is optimum for that shot. Bounce should always be your first consideration for bunker shots. Then you can determine what club and loft you need. I myself use a chart for different distance (LW for 5-10 yards, SW for 15-20 yards, GW for 25-30 yards, PW for 35-40 yards)

  6. Swing should feel as if you are swinging just your trail or dominate arm. Takeaway will be a bit more upright and the downswing will feel as though your throwing a rock to skip it across water. Finish with the clubhead above your head.


Drills:

Hit bunker shots with just your trail or dominate hand. You should feel how the bounce or bottom of the club is bouncing or skipping across the sand….NOT digging!


Draw 2 parallel lines in the sand about 6” apart facing the target. Straddle the 2 lines with both feet but place your target side foot closer to the line for a forward ball position. Practice entering the sand on the back line and accelerating thru to a full finish with the clubhead above your head. Do this with no ball until you can enter the sand consistently in the same place.


Golf Training in Houston call or text Tim Krumnow at (281) 755-6162

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