Charles Schwab Challenge

Colonial Country Club


Quick tips for hitting one of golf's toughest bunker shots

February 04, 2020

Of all the tough lies you can get in a greenside bunker, perhaps the worst is when your ball comes to rest so close to the edge, you can’t stand with both feet in the sand. It’s a tough shot, but not impossible.

First, take a deep breath. I want you stand over the ball feeling confident. There’s no reason you can’t look like a tour pro and execute a good shot from this lie. Next, as you contemplate the shot, remember these two words that start with “s”—stable and short. You’ve got to do whatever you can to take a stance that keeps your body stable as you attempt the shot. Also, make a short backswing. I wouldn’t take the club any farther back than when your lead arm is parallel to the ground, because if you lose your balance trying to make a longer swing, you’re dead.

As far as technique, make sure the club strikes the sand about an inch or two behind the ball. Being so close to the edge, you’ll probably have to grip down on the club and make a steeper downswing, so open the face of the club at address and try to finish the swing. You need to do both to get some height on the shot so it carries over the edge. Stable body, short backswing. You got this.