So you're approach shot to the green has landed in a bunker? This need not result and yet another bogey on your card. In fact, ask any professional golfer and they will tell you that it most cases they would prefer to be in the bunker than the greenside rough. Unless, of course that bunker is at the Road Hole at St. Andrews but there are always exceptions.
How, then can you ensure you get out of the bunker first time, every time and not only that but give yourself a good chance of achieving par? Assuming you have a decent lie there are some simple rules of bunker play which if you follow should ensure consistent and accurate results. I've listed the key points of successful bunker play below:
1. You must have a decent sand-wedge club. By this I mean the underside of the club, or flange, should be smooth and well-sloped to allow the club head to slide under the ball and lift it out nicely from the trap.
2. The first thing you should do is to open the club face a little and then take your grip. It is important to do this the right way around. If you grip the club as normal and then try to open the face it will feel a bit awkward and uncomfortable and will lead to less accurate results.
3. Now you take your stance and address the ball. Your feet should be about shoulder-width apart and pointing slightly left of the target. Also you should try working your shoes into the sand to allow for better stability. Ball position is forward in the stance.
4. We now come to the swing. Take a full and confident backswing, along the line of the feet and then a full follow through. People often wonder how far behind the ball to hit the sand. Around 1 to 4 inches is fine but the important thing is to make a confident follow through rather than trying to stab the ball out.
So, keep in mind to open the face, place the ball forward and then make a full and confident swing along the line of the feet and getting down in 2 from the bunker should be within your reach.
Resource: Andrew McNaught is a successful webmaster and keen golfer. His website Golf World Online helps golfers with bunker shots and all other aspects of the game.