Bunker basics | By Alastair Brown

We all want to be able to hit the high, soft golf shot out of the sand where the ball lands close to our imagined landing point and stops within a few inches of the hole.

Two of the key factors to be successful out of bunkers are to ensure you strike the sand in the correct place with enough loft on the club to launch the ball high and landing softly on the green. We know the club should enter the sand before the ball and be at its lowest point under the ball. Maintaining the loft on the club at the same time ensures the club doesn’t touch the ball allowing the sand to carry the ball out of the bunker softly.

I want to share my go-to practice drills to help you achieve these two factors and achieve consistent results every time you’re in the sand.

1. Low Point Control Drill

Draw 2 parallel lines about 2 inches apart in the sand. The objective is to:

  1. Avoid striking the back line
  2. The clubhead enters sand in the middle section between the lines
  3. The clubhead is at its lowest point when it reaches the front line

Start slowly with smaller swings. When you become consistent at striking the low point correctly then simply lengthen and then gradually speed up your swing. Test your newly acquired skill by placing a ball and replicate the feelings you practiced where the low point would be under the ball.


2. Loft Control Drill

Scoop some sand onto your clubhead and tilt the clubhead back so the clubface points to the sky. begin the swing from your address position. The objective is to:

  1. Keep the sand on the clubface all the way through the backswing
  2. Throw the sand over your right shoulder
  3. From address position, do the same on the forward swing and throw sand over the left shoulder


If the sand slides forward off the clubface on your backswing or forward swing then you are losing loft or rotating the clubhead too much. This will not only teach you to maintain loft but also help you smooth out the swing motion. The clubhead should feel stable during the golf swing.

Enjoy this bunker drill and have fun practicing!
If you’d like some more advice and tips, you can join me at the Peter Cowen Golf Academy at Emirates Golf Club to better understand your swing and take your game to the next level.


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