Golf instructor Will Robins says bunker shots are the easiest shots because there’s more room for error in a bunker shot than any other shot on the course. Think about it: Where else can you hit a few inches behind the ball and still be left with a good shot? In our video series, The Will Robins Plan: Beginner Basics, Robins gives lessons on every aspect of the game. In the lesson about bunker shots, Robins says that you don’t need to use a different swing when you’re in the bunker. People will tell you to swing steeper, or to take a lot of sand. But Robins says ignore all of that.
Instead, you should practice by using your full, regular swing. A lot of people run into trouble in the bunker when they decelerate. By taking your normal swing, you’ll be keeping your clubhead speed up through impact.
In practice, try to hit the ball out of the bunker without taking any sand. Robins says that this is going to result in you skulling the ball right out of the bunker, flying it way over the green, but don’t worry about that for now. Once you’ve mastered contact while taking no sand, dig your feet into the sand. This is going to drop the low point of your swing. So, take your normal swing, but now you’re going to naturally hit behind the ball and take a bit of sand because your feet are lower than they were before. If you’re still air-mailing the green, Robins says to just dig your feet in a bit lower. You'll be sweeping the ball right out of the sand instead of digging your club into it.
Don’t make the bunker more complicated than it needs to be: Just dig your feet in, use your normal swing, and enjoy the fact that you have the leeway to hit a few inches behind the ball for once.
If you want all of Robins’ tips and drills on the rest of the game -- like course management, driver drills, and help with your irons -- check out the full Will Robins Plan: Beginner Basics here.