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The long bunker shot

A greenside bunker shot is hard enough, but what about when you’re a bit further from the pin, or even 30 – 40 yards short of the green. Well, it's not a difficult as you think and you may be surprised just how simple the answer is.

Use a longer club!

Yep, that’s it. Many players believe that a bunker shot must be played with a sand wedge, but actually you can use any club that you like, just make sure that you select one that will create enough lift to clear the bunkers lip. After that, just play it like a standard splash shot as outlined below. As an example, you might use a 9 iron for a 40 yards splash shot.

At address you should aim your body left of your target with the ball towards the front of your stance making it easier to strike the sand before the ball. You should also slightly open the clubface, which will allow the bounce on the sole of the club head to do its job.

You should now make a pretty full backswing bearing in mind that you are not going to actually strike the ball and therefore you will need a good bit more momentum to carry the ball out of the bunker than if you were playing from grass.

When you swing down you should concentrate on trying to strike the sand about 4–6cm before the ball and ensure that you make a complete follow through as this will help to propel your ball towards the pin.

Remember that the splash bunker shot is the only time in golf that you are not trying to hit the ball but instead are relying on the explosion of the sand to make the ball fly out of the bunker. Make sure you create enough momentum with your swing to make this happen.

Niall McGill


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