PGA Championship

Valhalla Golf Club


Tips For Her: Three keys for better bunker play

February 20, 2013

Editor's note: Each week, Megan Padua, a teaching professional at Maidstone Club (East Hampton, N.Y.) and Belfair Plantation (Bluffton, S.C.), and one of Golf Digest's Best Young Teachers, offers tips and advice for women golfers.__


Most tour players would rather be in a greenside bunker than in the rough. Unlike the high-handicap golfer, they understand the key factors of bunker play and don't have a fear of taking a trip to the beach.


Here are my three keys to better bunker shots:

Key No. 1: Never hear the click of the ball contacting the club. To control shots out of the sand, understand that you never actually make contact with the ball.

__Key No. 2:__Take a full swing. During a bunker shot, you're moving a large amount of sand, and it's this movement of sand that moves the ball. Your ball is being placed onto the green by a third party. Commit to taking a full swing--as long as you don't hear the ball at all, you will not hit it too far.

Key No. 3: Understand that your club is a tool. An open face will glide through the sand while a square or closed face will dig. When there is wet sand or very little sand, for example, an open face will most likely glide and end up hitting the ball. Try using a square face to dig whatever sand you can, resulting in the sand moving the ball.

__Bonus Etiquette Tip:__Once you've taken the time to rake the trap, tap the bottom of your shoes with your club to knock the sand off. This prevents you from tracking sand across the green.