BEST TIP: Hit with the force necessary to throw a
handful of sand onto the green.

With an open stance, keep weight evenly distributed and play ball
one inch forward of center, with club face slightly open. Make
smooth three-quarter swing, letting chest turn away from target on

For plugged lies, keep more weight on left foot to let the club dig into
the sand. Play the ball in the middle with a square club face and
shaft leaning toward target. You don't have to swing hard.

To avoid leaving the ball in the sand, keep weight on front
foot and rotate chest throughout swing.

Angle shaft away from hole.

To avoid blading ball in sand, don't let left arm break down
in downswing.

Try to take a shallow cut of sand -- about 10 inches long.

Dig in with toes of shoes more than heels to set bottom
of swing below surface of sand.

Hit with the same force you would use if you were throwing
a handful of sand to the hole.

For uphill sand shots, play the ball forward, keep more
weight on the right foot, don't open the club face and
swing along slope.

For downhill sand shots, keep your head steady with more weight
on left foot. Play the ball back, open the club face, make a steep
backswing, full wristhinge and swing along the slope.

For long bunker shots, make a relaxed pivot and full follow-through.
Take a longer club, say a nine-iron, to get the right distance.

When hitting from hard sand, use a pitching wedge and play a
normal pitch shot.

For fairway bunkers:

-- take two clubs more than normal

-- dig in with your feet and keep your weight on the inside of both feet

-- choke down one inch with a light grip

-- play ball in the middle with weight evenly distributed

-- keep lower body quiet

-- use a three-quarter swing

-- make a full, relaxed pivot and try to clip the ball off the sand

-- swing at 70% of normal speed

-- you'll have better luck with a lofted wood than an iron
Hitting from Wet Sand
You cannot treat wet sand the
same way as dry sand. If your
normal sand shot uses a
wedge with a lot of “bounce”
(the sole having the rear lower
than the front), it will not
penetrate the wet sand so you
are likely to skull the ball over
the green. Try a wedge with
little or no bounce like a lob
wedge or pitching wedge.

Richard Myers
Tom's Golf Tips
Useful Links
Featured Lesson
The Swing For The Simple
Bunker Shot
Bring the clubhead away on the
line of your feet.  Allow your
wrists to hinge but don’t let your
arms and wrists go stiff. Come
down aggressively into the sand
an inch or two behind the ball
and come out of it a few inches
in front of where he ball was
lying.  The right hand should be
the dominant force in the swing.

Richard Myers