How to Hit a Short Bunker Shot

From time to time you will find yourself in a greenside bunker where the hole is located on your side of the green, close to the bunker and ball. This means that you won’t have much green to work with. Review the tips below in order to master the short bunker shot. Or head over for our tips on how to hit a long bunker shot.


Key Challenge:

No green to work with


Use the Same Amount of Sand

Use the same amount of sand regardless of the shot distanceYou may have received bunker tips in the past that recommend you to vary the amount of sand you take in order to control the distance of your bunker shots. So for longer shots you would take less sand and for shorter shots you would take more sand. While this distance control can work it is quite difficult to master. Rather than risk getting stuck in the sand by aiming too far behind the ball aim to see the club penetrate the sand 2” behind the ball and coming out 4” after the ball, for a total of 6”. This is the same amount of sand that you would take for your typical bunker shot.


Use a Shorter Backswing Instead

Use a shorter backswing for a short bunker shotInstead of tweaking the amount of sand you take tweak the length of your backswing instead. So whereas you would take a full backswing for your normal bunker shot try using half a swing if you have much less green to work with and need to produce a short bunker swing. The reduction in clubhead speed will translate into a ball that travels a shorter distance.


Still Crucial to Accelerate Through Impact

Long follow throughWhile focusing on the same amount of sand protects you from getting stuck in the sand through taking too much sand you still need to be careful not to decelerate into impact. Indeed, a short swing that decelerates will most likely produce a ball that gets stuck in the bunker as well. In order to protect from this try to produce a follow through that is twice the length of the backswing. So while your backswing might be short make sure to accelerate through a good sized follow through.


Other Setup Tips for a Short Bunker Shot

Other setup elements of a short bunker shotThe previous points only dealt with the specific challenges of a short bunker shot. Review the general bunker shot guidelines below in order to correctly execute the shot.

  • Use a sand wedge
  • Grip down on the club slightly,
  • Open the clubface,
  • Open your stance,
  • Position the ball slightly forward in your stance
  • Widen your stance
  • Dig your feet in

How to Hit a (Normal) Bunker Shot

Bunker Shot Setup


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Bunker Shot Tips

Bunker Shot Tips


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