You really don’t need to be afraid of playing from a bunker – let me show you the different options to get your ball out of the sand first time, every time.

Sand Wedge Bounce

Let’s let’s start with the right tool. You need a sand wedge that has some bounce to it (the bounce is the wide area right on the sole of the clubhead. Having some bounce helps you get out of the bunkers. In fact, if you play out of deep, soft sand on your course,  the more bounce the better. Alternately, If you are usually playing out of more shallow harder sand then you will not need to use a sand wedge with as much bounce.

Bunker Shot Options

Your first option is the easiest shot; a regular full swing shot. To play this shot I to set up in the bunker just like a regular full swing shot with the ball position slightly forward and I try to hit two inches behind the ball. The key is that I always want it out first on the first go.

The next shot we can do a little bit differently. Here we will open up the clubface one which means I rotate the club until it is open (see video) and then regrip it open.

Now the one thing that you have to do when you open the clubface is that you need to lower your hands a bit because that helps you square the club up to your target. So in summary, for this second bunker shot option let’s open the clubface, drop the hands and then hit it like a full swing shot. Always keep in mind that these changes are all going to shorten the distance of the shot quite a bit.

The third shot option is to widen your stance, put the ball position forward, and move your weight forward.  keep it there that’s gonna help you hit the bottom exactly where you want but square the clubface back up (not open like you did in the last shot). Remember, lean forward and keep the weight there and when you finish the shot, finish low. This shot is going to come out nice and soft.

So, you don’t need to be afraid of bunker shots. Get the right tool and then find an option that works for each situation.

Let’s get out of these bunkers in one shot!


Nancy Quarcelino Womens Golf instructor
Nancy Quarcelino

Nancy Quarcelino is a member of the LPGA and PGA of America. Within a career that spans over 30 years, she is regarded as one of the premier golf instructors in the country and in 2012, Nancy was inducted into the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Hall of Fame

LPGA Teaching and Club ProfessionalsNancy has held the position of Head Professional/General Manager at Indian Hills Country Club in Bowling Green, Kentucky and was also the Head Professional at Hermitage Golf Course in Old Hickory, TN. She was the host professional for the LPGA Sara Lee Classic Tournament for many years while at Hermitage Golf Course. Nancy’s passion for golf turned to teaching, and in 1992 she started the Nancy Quarcelino School of Golf which just completed its 20th year as a successful business in the Nashville, TN area. The Nancy Quarcelino School of Golf is located at Gaylord Springs Golf Links, in Nashville, TN.



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