It has long been said that the long bunker shot is one of the hardest shots in golf. Many of us have experienced this to be true and struggled to find answers to this challenge. As with any skill in this game or in life there is a certain amount of time or reps required to become proficient, and the long bunker shot is no different. So the question is how often to you practice long bunker shots? I am sure many of you are saying ‘almost never.’
With the understanding that you will need to actually practice to improve let’s look at ways that you can approach that practice to make it more beneficial. A great way to start any type of bunker practice session is to start with long bunker shots as it forces you to create some clubhead speed and let go of the fear of sculling the ball over the green. Without question, you will hit some of those but without sufficient speed you won’t really have a chance of hitting quality bunker shots.
Experimenting with your pitching wedge and even 8 or 9 iron for bunker shots over 30 yards is another great way to discover your best option on those long bunker shots. Try picturing the ball flying to the hole and stopping and see if you can figure out a way to do that with any one your 5 or 6 most lofted clubs. As always, pay attention to the divots you are taking in the sand as they will give you clues as to how to adjust your technique.