A Quick Nine: Your best bunker tips

Bunker tips
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Bunkers -- especially ones like the church pews at Oakmont -- can be intimidating for a lot of golfers. Hopefully some tips here will help you.
By
T.J. Auclair, Interactive Producer
PGA.com

Series: A Quick Nine

Published: Monday, February 25, 2013 | 3:20 p.m.

When we think of Florida, we think of many things.

Among them? Disney World, world-class golf and world-class beaches.

And we're thinking of Florida this week as the PGA Tour begins its annual Florida Swing on Thursday with the Honda Classic at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach.

As a result, we wanted to put the focus this week on beaches -- specifically, the kind you want to avoid on the golf course, bunkers.

Inevitably, just like the best players in the world, you're eventually going to find yourself having to play out of a bunker. So, we were wondering, what's your best, one-line bunker tip?

Naturally, we tossed the question out to our friends in PGA.com Facebook Nation. And, naturally, we received loads of great answers.

Here's a look at some of the best answers we received from you:

(Editor's note: To see videos from PGA Professionals on how to escape bunkers, click here)

9. Don't hit it in the bunker in the first place. This was a very popular tip from our friends in PGA.com Facebook Nation. Of course, it didn't exactly answer our question, but since so many of you chimed in we felt we had to include it!

Facebook fan quotes:

"Stay Out!" -- Michael Fagan

"Don't hit it in the bunker." -- Cody Lowery

"Don't hit it there." -- Chris Young

"Hit the fairway... then you won't have to worry about the beach." -- Tim George

"Don't hit it in there." -- Justin T. Sheppard

8. Minimize the damage -- make sure you get out of the bunker in one shot. This makes sense, right? Get the ball back in play. Of course, better golfers sometimes prefer to be in a bunker instead of the rough, but that's not the case for all high-handicappers.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Get out of the bunker in one shot." -- Eric Jordan

7. Don't stop your swing at impact. The bunker isn't the place to start getting punchy with your wedge.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Make sure you complete your swing. Don't stop after impact." -- Jesse Giovanetti

"Smooth and full follow through." -- Shanon Knaeble

"Follow through." -- Andrew White

"Don't chop. Full follow through." -- Jeremy Owen

"Accelerate down through the sand and follow through." -- Chris Pruden

6. Commit to the shot. It seems so elementary, yet it's so important.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Believe in and commit to the shot." -- Dustin Meyer

"Pick a spot behind the ball and commit, don't let it quit." -- Leezy Suds

5. The bounce on your club is your friend. The 'bounce' on a wedge allows the head to bounce out of the sand or through the rough without snagging.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Utilize the bounce of the club." -- Danny Elliott

"Use the bounce like the flat of your hand and smack the sand about two inches behind the ball." -- Brian Wetzel

"Use the bounce... square stance." -- Carl A Sarahs

4. Dig in and take a solid stance. Watch the best players in the world. Very rarely do they ever step into a bunker and address the ball before getting their feet stable.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Dig your feet in!" -- Jim Bartges

"Dig your feet in the sand for stability." -- Eddie Tarzi

"Stay balanced, feel how thick the bunker is with your feet, hit down and follow through." -- Bryan LeVardi

"Greenside? Plant your feet well and choke up on the club. Make a full swing." -- Lucas Johnson

3. Open the clubface and swing harder than you think you should. Remember, your adding loft to the clubface, so swing accordingly.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Swing harder than your muscle memory tells you to." -- Steve O. Campbell

"To gauge how open the clubface should be, open it to the point where you could balance a quarter on it." -- Dan Perry

"You must open the face wide open to get through the sand and to use the bounce of the club." -- Brad Coleman

"Open the club face, don't chop, and follow through." -- Justin Schwartz

2. Don't decelerate. Sure, a bunker-shot can be a delicate one in many instances, but that doesn't mean you should slow down your downswing.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Finish high and don't decelerate!" -- Dewey Johnson

"Never decelerate your club." -- Nick Ruggles

"Keep accelerating through impact." -- Craig Pack

"Accelerate through the sand." -- Joseph Tyler Walski

"Don't decelerate." -- Jonathan Vannoy

"Just open it up... full swing no hesitation!" -- Tamera Slay Wattenbarger

1. Hit the sand, not the ball. Sometimes you need to pick it clean on a long bunker shot. However, when you're around the green, you need to splash the ball out of the sand to get it to stay on the green. Hit the sand behind the ball.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Hit the sand, not the ball." -- Bradley Paskievitch

"Throw the sand under the ball onto the green." -- Joshua Roberts

"Let the sand and follow through carry the ball." -- Tyler Michael

"Hit the sand out of the bunker. The ball will follow." -- Michael Martinez

"Bunker shots are simple. You don't even have to hit the ball. Good follow through equal to back swing and hit around two inches behind the ball. That works for me!" -- Darryl Mcerlean

"The Fried Egg Approach. The ball is the yolk in a sunny side up fried egg. You want to take the whole fried egg with you out of the bunker. So you envision the white around the ball/yolk and hit there and follow through." -- Tony G Mendoza

"Pretend the ball is setting on a tee and swing to hit the tee not the ball." -- Kyle Bohannon