Greenside Bunker Shots Made Simple

A few simple tips can help you reach the green when stuck in a greenside bunker.

A greenside bunker shot is the only shot in golf where you are not hitting the golf ball. The club enters the sand before the ball and flies out of the bunker on a cushion of sand. In essence you are simply hitting behind the ball and fatting the shot. The secret to making this happen is in the set-up and swing dynamic.
In the set-up, play the ball forward of center, dig the feet in, but do not choke down. This combination insures that your club will hit the sand before the ball.
Your swing dynamic is another huge factor in successfully executing greenside bunker shots. Typically, golfers focus 2 to 3 inches behind the ball and find they have a difficult time hitting there and then following through. Focusing behind the ball can destroy good swing dynamics and usually leads to poor contact. Instead the golfer's focus should be on swinging through the ball, much like a pitch shot, relying on the set-up to produce the proper contact with the sand. This is how you make greenside bunker shots simple and easy.

Trevor Gliwski is the Director of Instruction for The Rick Smith Golf Academy at Tiburon, Ritz Carlton Golf Resort, Naples, Fl. His teaching career began in 1994 and has been with Rick Smith since 2000. Gliwski was voted by Golf Digest in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 to "Best teachers in your State" for Florida and "Top 10 golf professionals" by Gulfshore Life Magazine in 2006. He has appeared on The Golf Channel Academy and The Travel Channel. His students range from PGA Tour Pros to the beginning golfer. Trevor can be reached at toll free 1-877-464-6531 or

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