The thing about bunker shots is, most golfers don’t have a clear concept for what they’re trying to do. They’ve heard the old advice: “play the ball forward” or “make a full backswing” or “keep turning through.” But those are just pieces of the technique. Golfers often don’t know what the club needs to do through the sand—an overall feel for the shot.
Here’s a great tip from Golf Digest Best Young Teacher Mario Guerra: Splash the sand onto the bank of the green. Mario says the hang-up for most golfers is that they don’t have a sense for how much effort to put into the shot. If you follow his advice, he says you’ll power through the sand and produce a good basic bunker shot. If you don’t splash any sand out of the bunker, you’ll leave the ball in. If you cover the green in sand, you’re swinging too hard. Splash onto the bank, and the ball will float out and land on the green.
This simple bunker instruction is part of a new Golf Digest video series called “Short-Game Shortcuts.” In five easy-to-follow lessons, Mario breaks down the critical skills of the short game and the quickest ways to develop them. He also offers practice drills and swing images. When it comes to these little greenside shots, it’s often a simple thought or visual—like splashing the sand—that can turn your performance around.
If you want to get more comfortable around the greens, click here to find out more about Mario Guerra’s “Short-Game Shortcuts” ($9.99 for unlimited access). You’ll easily get a handle on all the basics, from pitching and chipping to sand shots and putting. With the right concepts in your head, you’ll ace these short-game shots and see your scores drop.