5 Golf Bunker Drills that will Sharpen your Bunker Play

In golf, as with most things in life, in order to improve you have to practice. Throwing 5 balls into the practice bunker before you play and hitting them out doesn’t qualify as practice.

Many amateur golfers struggle getting out of a bunker yet they hardly ever practice their bunker play. In order to get the best out of your bunker play make sure that you practice with a purpose.

The following 5 drills will help to ensure that you get the most out of your bunker practice sessions.

  • Line in the sand
  • Landing spot towel drill
  • Up and down drill
  • Ladder drill
  • Hit bunker shots with different clubs


1.Line in the sand

Majority of amateur golfers have a really hard time getting their golf ball out of a bunker and onto the green.

In general players either hit too far behind it and as a result the ball stays in the sand, or they hit it clean and it goes flying over the back of the green.

In order to hit consistently good bunker shots it is important to hit just far enough behind the ball, in other words to take the perfect amount of sand when hitting a shot.

A good way to practice this is to draw a line in the sand with the toe of your club, place a ball directly in front of the line and then instead of hitting at the ball hit the line directly behind the ball.

This drill will help you to hit consistently good bunker shots by taking just the right amount of sand on every shot.

2.Landing spot towel drill

Bunker shots are very similar to chip shots in principle, the technique and surface that you hit from is different but the mindset you approach the shot with isn’t.

In order to judge the speed of a bunker or chip shot it is important to establish where the ball must land in order to come to a stop close to the hole.

Once the ball has landed on the green it will react in a similar fashion to a putt, it is thus very important to ensure that the landing spot matches up with the required line and speed.

Choosing the correct landing spot is one thing, but to then go on and actually hit it is something completely different.

An effective way to practice hitting your landing spot is to put a towel down in the area where you want the ball to land, and to then hit bunker shots towards the landing spot/towel trying to hit it with every attempt.


3.Up and Down Bunker Drill

While practicing any area of the golf game it is important to simulate on course conditions and situations.

Hitting shot after shot without purpose can get boring very quickly.

A fun way to avoid boredom and to get the most out of your practice session is to play ‘holes’ around the practice green.

Take 1 ball and hit 9 different shots, putt out every shot and try to get as many of the 9 shots as possible up and down.

Keep track of your best score and try to best it every time you can and practice.

4.Ladder Drill

Speed is an essential component of hitting good bunker shots.

The more speed you generate the easier it will be to get the ball out of the bunker.

Speed plays a role in how far the ball carries out of the bunker, in order to ensure that you hit your landing spot more often than not you have to practice good feel.

The ladder drill is great for practicing feel for distance out of a bunker.

Take 3 balls, hit the first shot short, the second shot long and then try to land the third ball in between the first 2.

As you’re feel improves try to get the balls as close as possible to one another.

5.Hit bunker shots with different clubs

Golfers are always looking for ways to improve, once you have command of the stock standard bunker shot it is time to broaden your horizons.

Using different clubs like a PW or 9 iron to hit bunker shots will add another dimension to your game.

Blasting out of the bunker is one thing, but getting it all the way back there to a back flag can be a challenge.

Using the same technique but with a different club will produce results that roll out more.

Don’t be scared to experiment with different clubs in the bunker, adding new shots to your repertoire in essential, you never know when you might have to use that shot.


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