The Long Bunker Shot

The Long Bunker Shot

Many players call the long bunker shot the hardest shot in the game. Why is that? Probably because there is less margin for error when you keep your regular sand wedge or 60 degree for longer bunker shots, particularly if you are moving your contact point with the sand closer to the ball. Let’s look at one way to have better success on long bunker shots.

Many of you may understand that the bounce of a club is a key component when hitting bunker shots.  But you must also realize that the bounce changes based on how much you open the clubface and lower the handle of the club at setup (both increase bounce). This holds true for any club, not just your sand wedge or 60 degree. If you take a 9 iron and open the clubface there will be more bounce and thus the club has effectively turned into a sand wedge.  This is a great club to use on bunker shots of 30-40 yards or more.  The loft will be less than a sand wedge when the club is open but there will be bounce to keep the club from digging into the sand.  This means less of an adjustment for you on the speed and proximity to the ball of where you contact the sand.  Basically, you can keep the same technique you have on the shorter bunker shots and the ball will go farther.

Take some time to experiment with 8 or 9 iron and pitching wedge on long bunker shots and see how that compares to your current approach.  Remember to give it a few practice sessions to get the hang of it first.

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