My approach shot is in the air. As I look up anxiously, I realize I have pushed it a smidge. To the edge of the green I hope. My adrenaline level goes up as my eyes track the ball like an eagle in hopes to see it land on the fringe. When the ball finds the greenside bunker instead, fear starts to set in. As I walk to the green I can’t help but feel my chances to get up and down would have been better if the ball hadn’t landed in the sand trap. Will I hit it fat and not get it out? Or will I thin it and blade it all the way over the green?

Sound familiar? You are not alone, many golfers have these fears and struggle to get out of the sand.

What sets us apart from the pros?

Pros feel they have a good chance to make a sand save most of the time they step foot into a bunker.  The average PGA Tour player makes par or better on the hole they are playing over half the time when their ball finds the sand. The best bunker players, in fact, convert sand saves over 60% of the time! Those are some good stats.

Knowledge is Power

Pros feel they have a good chance to make a sand save most of the time they step foot into a bunker.  The average PGA Tour player makes par or better on the hole they are playing over half the time when their ball finds the sand. The best bunker players, in fact, convert sand saves over 60% of the time! Those are some good stats.

Your sand play is going to become an asset of your game

In this series, we’re going to give you plenty of tricks that are sure to help you improve your sand game on the golf course. As always at Golf Pupils, we’ll focus on the fundamentals first. In the first article of our series on bunker play we’ll start learning the basic concepts behind a successful bunker shot. The goal is for your sand play to become an asset to your golf game, instead of a liability.

Steps to improve your bunker play

Bunker play requires a number of skills as well as the ability of the golfer to adjust to the lie of the ball by understanding the basic fundamental concepts of bunker play:
  1. Understanding the fundamental concepts of bunker play
  2. Being knowledgeable on set up and technique to use “bounce” properly
  3. Continue your hands into the finish
  4. Appreciating the differences between hard and soft sand
  5. Adjusting for downhill and uphill lies
  6. Specialty shots: hitting from below your feet
  7. Specialty shots: buried lies
  8. Specialty shots: long bunker shot
Continue Reading: We want to hit the sand first, but do you know why?