You have no escaping it. You are going to land in a greenside bunker at some stage of a round. Unfortunately, many golfers walk into the bunker with only “hope” they will get the ball out. You’ve heard the commentators talk about how the Professionals actually prefer to miss in a bunker because they find it easier to get up and down. That’s a dream for many. I would think about 50% of golfers just have the objective of getting out, and another 30% are a little better with a desire to get it on the green. But there are 20% who have a little more confidence and will have an objective to get it close to the hole.
You can decide that you want to be part of the 20%. There is no mystery to a greenside bunker, once you have learned the proper technique. The 80% who don’t have confidence may set up correctly and know they need to “take some sand”. But that isn’t enough. You need a swing technique that will bring the club head on the path and angle of attack with the correct hand action through the contact zone.
Try this simplified approach to get the ball on the green and closer to the hole. Set up to a bunker shot the same way you would set up to a pitch shot. Club aiming at the hole and the stance square to the club face. I know this may be a little different from previous lessons you have taken or articles you have read. Give it a try, it may work! The ball position should be slightly forward of center. This will allow you to make a normal golf swing that will bottom out about an inch behind the ball. The key is to make a long, shallow divot with the bottom or bounce of the club. For example, a normal full swing Lob Wedge shot would go 50 yards if I made solid contact with the ball. By getting a little sand before the ball, the shot would only go about 25 yards. If I only needed to hit the ball 10 yards, I could use a smaller swing.
Try not to complicate the bunker shot by using force to get the ball out. Any shot around the green requires touch and tempo. Use the sand to help you with distance control. Contact me for more help getting your shots closer to the hole.