Float like a butterfly from the bunker! | By Alastair Brown

By Alastair Brown, Senior Golf Professional, Emirates Golf Club

The greenside bunker shot is a specialist shot and therefore it requires a special grip. I’d like to introduce to you the ‘butterfly grip’ which is certain to improve your feel and touch when in a sandy spot of bother around the greens.


Here the hands turn into each other producing a strong left hand and weak right hand.

This puts the grip pressure on the top of the club handle making it easy to set the wrists during the swing and keep the loft and bounce on the club.

When you deliver the club, you can push the pressure of the bounce into the sand without losing the loft using different wrist speeds to alter the flights. The desired result is a high spinning, soft landing shot that releases like a putt!


Obviously, the ball flight and spin control will give you good feedback here, but it’s also important to analyse the sand.

You want to see an oval divot in the sand to show the correct explosion and the widest part of the oval should be where the ball was.


Using the rake handle or the butt end of your grip draw some lines in the sand for your work station.  Draw a target line and a parallel line and then have two more parallel lines that are moved slightly left of this.  The lines to the left are for your feet and the swing path for your club. There is also a line for your ball position that should be positioned inside your left heel.

Open your left foot and left knee towards your line of swing, therefore making it easy to open the body left through impact without losing control of your feet.

Extra Tips

1. Take time to practice your new grip

2. Feel the difference in setting your wrists 

3. Visualise how your loft stays on the club

I hope this new butterfly grip enhances your skill in greenside bunkers so you have touch and feel like the professionals. If you’d like more advice, come and see me or one of the other PGA teaching professionals at the Pete Cowen Academy, Dubai (Emirates Golf Club) for a lesson.