Master the Course

Bunker shots made easy

By Bill Murchison III, PGA
Published on

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The bunker shot scares most amateurs, but it doesn't have to.
I once got a few great bunker tips from Luke Donald, one of the best sand players in the world, and incorporating them into my game and my teaching has made not only getting out of the trap easier, but hitting the ball close to the pin easier as well.
So here are a few key basic things to remember about getting out of bunkers.
  1. Put the “forward” in your stance. Think it's far enough forward? Luke Donald says you can't put it forward enough.
  2. Keep the face wide open throughout the swing. Some teachers will you to visualize a cup of water on the clubface that you don't want to spill by rotating the face in any direction. Practice finding the optimal rotation of the face out of the trap for you. You want to have the club open as you splash down into the sand.
  3. You do not hit the ball, you hit the sand behind the ball. Don't try to "pick" the ball out of the trap. The closer to the ball you hit, the more your ball will spin. But regardless, on the greenside bunker shot, you'll want to hit the sand first.
I see too many players who balloon their scores based on one or two shots that find the traps around the green. It doesn't have to be that way.
A little practice in the bunker while utilizing these tips should help you feel more comfortable and confident over those shots.
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William J. Murchison III, PGA

Canton, GA

William Murchison

Director of Instruction

Bill Murchison, III has been in the golf business for over 20 years. His Father Bill Murchison, Jr played on the PGA Tour in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Bill III is a Class A PGA Member, PGA Certified Instructor, and U.S Kids Golf Certified Instructor. He has competed at the highest level, playing in the 2012 PGA Championship, in four Professional National Championships, and on the Tour. He has won over 20 professional tournaments. He has taken the knowledge from playing and practicing with the top players in the world and is passionately investing it in his students. He has also mentored with the top teachers in this game and has learned from their successes. His coaching philosophy is simple, while utilizing strategies that have been proven to work by the best players in the world. Although his primary focus is instructing and coaching juniors, he is passionate about helping any age and skill level reach their goals in golf. Career Highlights: PGA Certified Instructor US Kids Golf Certified Instructor 2014-16 US Kids Top 50 Teachers Honorable Mention 2017 US Kids Top 50 Teachers Won over 20 Professional Tournaments Qualified for 4 Professional National Championships Playing Accomplishments: 2012 PGA Championship Participant 2013 Tour Card

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