Master the bad lie in a bunker

By Sven Nielsen, Head Teaching Professional at the Trump International Golf Club, Dubai

We are often faced with a bad lie in a bunker, either plugged in its own pitch mark or in a footprint that has not been raked. This type of shot usually sparks great fear and anxiety to amateur golfers so hopefully after reading this you can get an up and down to save par or better next time you encounter this scenario!

For you to master the bad lie in the bunker, I have three things for you to concentrate on in the set up and swing to ensure you execute the shot better and save yourself some strokes in future rounds.

  1. Weight on the front foot

This will help us create the steeper angle of attack with the clubhead entering the sand (the goal is to get the clubhead under the ball, and with it lying down, we need to make the club dig).  But much weight do I place on my front foot? This all depends on the severity of the plugged lie – the more severe the plugged lie, the more weight will get placed on the front foot.

2. Get the clubhead vertical

Secondly, use your wrist to get the clubhead to travel more vertically on the back and downswing into the sand. We are looking for that steep angle of attack on the clubhead into the sand, so use those wrists to create this desired swing.

  1. Generate more speed

Lastly, you will need some speed! Be sure to hit down into the sand with speed, the sand is going to slow your club head down as soon as your club enters the sand, so be sure to give this shot the desired speed! Your club will get the feeling of getting stuck in the sand (which we are looking to get) so be sure to give this shot a good hit!

Follow these steps to master the bad lie in a bunker. For more help with your game, be sure to come see one of the professionals at the Golf Academy at Trump International Golf Club, Dubai or email: