Bunker Tip

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Are you one of the million golfers who struggle to get out of the sand? Golf Life headed out to Rancho Santa Fe, California, for a bunker tip with top teacher Dean Reinmuth.

My name is Dean Reinmuth, and we’re here in a fairway bunker. Now, fairway bunkers are a little bit difficult for the average player because they don’t tend to catch the ball solid. But you can make them a lot easier if you do a couple things.

One of the things you’ll notice in your fairway bunkers is most people tend to hit — when they hit the ball, they hit behind it. So they hit the sand first. So that’s why the ball doesn’t go anywhere. There’s some reason for that, but there’s a way to practice that.

Bunker TipFirst, you set your feet a little bit so you have a secure base. Then for a thing to practice, draw a line.

When you take your practice swing, what you’re trying to do is to make sure that you can touch just right on the line or slightly in front of the line. If you do what most people do — they hit behind the line, which is back here — then you’re weight isn’t shifting enough. So, you have to get used to the fact that, although your feet are in the sand, you should shift just like you do on the grass. Most people won’t hit six to eight inches behind the ball on the grass, but they come to the fairway bunker, and that’s what they’ll tend to do because they stop moving their weight in the feet.

So, once you’re able to take practice swings and touch that line or slightly in front of the line, then you’re doing the same thing over the ball. Just get set up, set your feet, and when you swing, make sure that you shift enough so that you try to catch the ball first, which is like the line, and then finish your shot.  And if you do that, you’ll catch the ball solid. The ball will get out of the bunker. It might even get on the green.

If you liked this bunker tip and would like to see more golf tips, head over to our Club Golf Life page and watch a variety of golf tips from top teachers across the country.