Bunker Shots: Setup

How to Set Up for a Bunker Shot
Golf Bunker Shots – Part 1

Part 1 of 4 → How Much Sand?

Welcome the first part of the 4-part golf bunker shot series.

In part 1 we’ll look at the bunker shot set up. We’ll then move on to basic bunker technique, distance control, some bunker drills and tips for more advanced bunker shots.

The set up for bunker shots is similar to a pitching and chipping set up…

The aim is to replace elements in the swing that generate power in favour of elements that generate control and feel.

The video and summary below will give you pointers for setting up correctly for green-side bunker shots:

Bunker Shot Set Up – Video Summary

  • Bunker Shot Stance - Use a wider stance for bunker shotsTake a slightly wider stance than you would for a chip shot (about shoulder width is good) and shuffle your feet into the sand so you’re standing on a flat, stable surface.

  • Open the clubface in your hands for bunker shots - Don't twist the club in your hands after gripping it.Open the club face so that it faces the sky – as though you could balance a glass of wine on it.

  • Bunker Shot Setup - Aim your feet left of the target, place the ball forward in your stance and open the clubfaceAim your feet and hips to the left of target (for the right-handed golfer) to compensate for the club face, which is pointing to the right of the flag.

  • Choke down on your grip for added control for bunker shotsGrip down towards the bottom of the grip for more control.

  • Bunker Shot Ball Position - Place the ball forward in your stance and aim 2 inches behind the ballThe ball should be slightly ahead of centre in your stance. If you draw a line in the sand right in the middle of your stance, this is where the club should strike and the ball should be two inches ahead of that line.

  • Bunker Shot Distance Control - Vary the length of your swing to control the distance of your bunker shotsNot every bunker shot has to be played with a full swing. Just as you would vary the length of your swing for chips and pitch shots, you should for bunker shots too.

  • Use a full follow through for bunker shotsMake a good follow through, accelerating through the golf ball. If you tend to decelerate and ‘quit’ on bunker shots, try making a one-third backswing and two-thirds follow through.