How To Get Out of A Bunker In One Shot – Step by Step 

How often have you hit a shot into a bunker and worried about taking two or three swings to get the ball out? You aren’t alone in this. If your mindset could change to be that you were guaranteed to get out in just one shot, wouldn’t that help your game? 

Here are the exact step by step tips to get yourself out of a bunker in one shot. Start practicing this off the course so the next time you end up in a bunker you can easily get out. 

Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Out of a Bunker in One Shot

Getting out of a bunker in one shot requires a series of very specific steps. Practice these in order, and then follow them exactly the next time you find yourself in a greenside bunker. 

Step 1: Choose the Right Club 

Choose the right loft to get yourself out of a bunker. Your sand wedge is not the only option. If you want to hit a shorter yet higher-lofted shot, use the lob wedge. For something that is a bit further from you, consider the gap wedge. 

You should also check the bunker’s lip and make sure you have enough loft to get up and over it. 

Step 2: Set Up With An Open Face 

There is no need to open your wedge face completely up. In fact, if you do, you may hit it well right and miss your target completely. Instead, just let the face sit square to slightly open. You’ll want to avoid too much of a forward press in the hands and a complete shut-down of the face. 

Leaving it just a little open can help the ball easily get out of the bunker. 

Step 3: Position The Ball Forward 

The goal in any bunker is to hit the sand before you hit the golf ball. The sand carries the ball up and out of the bunker. If you are playing a standard bunker shot, position the ball towards the front of your stance, near your left heel. 

This gives you time to hit the sand first, then the ball. 

Step 4: Adjust Your Weight 

Put a little more weight on the lead foot. This will encourage a more descending blow and allow you to hit sand. When you don’t do this, sometimes you’ll hit it thin or miss the sand completely. 

Step 5: Get the Aim Right 

You will want to take your clubface and aim it to your target. Then, turn your body a little bit to the left of the target (right-handed golfers). This helps to open the stance and can encourage higher loft and a softer landing of your bunker shot. 

Step 6: Focus on A Spot Behind the Ball 

Next, you will want to focus on a spot directly behind the ball. You want to hit 1-2 inches behind the ball so the sand can travel out and carry the ball. When practicing your bunker shots, take your club and draw a line in the sand. 

Try putting the golf ball about an inch forward of this line and learning to hit the sand first and then the golf ball. 

Once you feel it you will see how much easier it is to control your bunker shots. How much sand you take can sometimes change based onthe consistency of the sand so you can play around with that as you practice. 

Step 7: Accelerate Through The Ball 

Swing the club back with a full shoulder turn and then accelerate through impact. You will get stuck in the sand if you slow your wedge down as you approach the golf ball. Your mindset should always be an aggressive move through the ball. 

You’ll get a nice high finish. 

No more stopping the club in the sand and hoping it pops out of the bunker. This just doesn’t work, and you’ll never learn to control it. 

Step 8: Commit and Be Positive 

Finally, let go of all of those thoughts that you have about hitting the ball in the bunker and it not coming out. Commit to your shot, be positive, and stay aggressive. You must start to be aware that sometimes a bunker shot is easier than a chip or pitch buried in the rough. 

This is because it is! 

Next Steps 

Now you have the basics of what is required to hit these great bunker shots, here are a few other points that you should keep in mind, as well as a few tips to really hone in on your bunker game. 

  • Digging your feet into the sand a bit can help with stability if you struggle with sliding in the sand trap. 
  • Remember that if the pin is close to you it’s better to get out of the bunker and putt back at the pin then to get too delicate with the shot and leave yourself in the bunker. An 8 foot putt coming back is better than a second shot out of the bunker. 
  • Start using your newly found confidence out of the bunker as a way to become better when approaching the greens, if you are not scared of bunker shots trust your approach shot to the green and hit it close!
  • If you don’t already have a lob wedge in your bag, consider adding one as it can make those short sided difficult bunker shots all that much easier. 

Final Thoughts 

All that is left to do now is find a practice bunker you can use. You have to work on bunker shots and practice them, don’t expect to adopt all of thse steps the next time you head to the course.

Go through this process many times and it will become second nature to you. You’ll never leave yourself in a bunker for a second shot again! 

The Golf Bandit
The Golf Bandit

Hi, I'm Jan. I love golf and I have been playing for a while now. I really enjoy trying out new golf clubs and equipment, and like to review them on my blog. I consider myself lucky as I have access to the latest clubs and gadgets, so I can get a feel for how they perform on the golf course. I also like to share my tips and tricks on how to improve your game, so if you're looking for help with that then look no further! Thanks for visiting, and I hope you find something useful here.

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