Play Your Best: Step by stepOctober 22, 2014

Long Blast

Getting to the other side of the green

Photograph by J.D. Cuban, taken at Concession Golf Club, Bradenton, Fla.

Most golfers understand the concept of executing a basic greenside bunker shot: You want to swing through the sand under the ball. But when it's a longer bunker shot—say, 20 to 40 yards—the fatal mistake I see is swinging harder to try to hit the ball farther. Do that, and you usually end up taking too much sand and dumping the shot well short. Instead, follow this checklist.