The Greenside Bunker Shot Set Up

The Greenside Bunker Shot Set Up



When setting up to play a regular greenside bunker shot there are a few important things to get right as this will go a long way in helping you to execute the shot.

Firstly I want to briefly describe the bounce of the club and what it does. The bounce of the wedge is there to help you and it will guide through the sand if used correctly.

As the bunkers have become better over the last few years, with the quality of the sand and drainage, manufactures have improved there wedges with varying degrees of loft’s and bounce angles. With this in mind you have all the correct tools to be playing this shot well. The only thing that is still “old school” is the way golfers set up to these shots, so I am going to explain the modern way of escaping the sand with ease.

“If the leading edge digs in, poor bunker shots will be the result. Remember the bounce of the wedge is your friend, so please use it”

Open the clubface a little as this will help encourage you to use the bounce of the wedge. Grip the club after you have opened the clubface a little and use your normal neutral grip. 

Take a nice wide stance a wriggle your feet into the sand a little as this helps you to feel the texture of the sand with your feet. It also lowers your centre of gravity ensuring sand is struck from under the ball.

Keep at least 70 percent of your weight on the left side as I want you to turn around your left side in the swing. Setting your weight forwards also helps create a consistent strike pattern in the sand. The feeling here is that you are braced into the left side.

Keep the ball position forward in the stance, just inside the left heel as this will help create a consistent strike pattern in the sand, forget the old cliché of looking 2 inches behind the ball as this set up will promote the strike pattern required, one less thing to worry about!!

The shaft angle should be leaning back just behind the ball as this will ensure the bounce of the wedge is being used. If you lean the shaft forwards you will start to dig in too much with the leading edge creating poor quality bunker shots.

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Keep the body alignment parallel to the target line as this will encourage you to swing the club down the target line and not across it, promoting pure backspin and not slice side spin.

Keep your posture angles nice and engaged as stranding slumped is a sure way to hit bad shots!!

I also like to feel that I am stretching out towards the ball a little with my arms as this lowers the shaft a little and helps create the soft swing arc required to play these shots well.

I hope you enjoyed the article, any comments or Questions then please leave a comment below..

Until next time I wish you all the golfing success


Mark Wood Golf Academy
Dale Hill hotel & golf club
East Sussex


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