Stop Leaving the Ball In the Bunker

By | on February 17, 2023 | 29 Comments | Array


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Paul Wilson is the creator of Swing Machine Golf and founder of Ignition Golf. Paul's golf swing technique is based on the Iron Byron swing machine. YouTube Channels: Paul Wilson Golf and Ignition Golf Tips. Please Join me on Google+

29 Responses to “Stop Leaving the Ball In the Bunker”

  1. February 6, 2013


    Hi Paul,
    With that turn/uncoil in the bunker shot how do you control distance? Backswing? Tempo? Loft?

    Thank you!

    • February 6, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      I will do a tip on this in the future but you open/closed the face, dig in shallower/deeper or turn the body faster or slower or a combination of these things.

  2. February 6, 2013


    Great tip on how to get out of a green side bunker. Can you help with fairway bunker shots?

    Gary Brace

  3. February 6, 2013


    Hi Paul, same as Craig mentioned, how do you control distance? So many times I take out the ball from the bunker and it goes beyond the green or even worse, to another bunker. Thanks.

    • February 6, 2013

      Paul Wilson

      I will do a tip on this in the future but you open/closed the face, dig in shallower/deeper or turn the body faster or slower or a combination of these things.

  4. February 6, 2013


    HiPaul, As usual, another great tip. Two areas I’d like to see you address:
    1. What adjustments are needed if the ball is way below or above your feet when you take your stance in the bunker?
    2. Recommendations when in moist sand and heavy, thick sand greenside bunkers?
    Many thanks,
    Jim Christian

    • February 7, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      I am going to do tips on both of these.

      1. Ball below or above feet you are flexing the knees or unflexing the knees. You are gripping down on the club or gripping up on the club. All of these things are to get you as level as you can with the ball. As you can see there is too much info for me to describe. I can show this better in tips.

      2. I will do a tip on this too in the future but mainly you will be hitting the ball from think heavy sand with a square face. This means you will not be aiming left of the target. Stay square. Dig in. Do the normal bunker technique.

  5. February 7, 2013


    Thanks Paul. When I do that I find myself hitting the ball, no sand, sending it far away. I realize that I must be sliding forward rather than turning my hips. How to correct that?



    • February 7, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      Just as I said in the tip you need to turn. If you are sliding you are not turning. So put the line in the sand and match your belt buckle with it. The only way you can do this is if you are turning. So dig in. Relax the arms. Do the hinge turn bunker technique while watching the ball.

  6. February 7, 2013


    Interesting one, I dream of light fluffy sand, our bunkers wet and heavy sand your lucky to get down an inch. Any tips for these?

    • February 7, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      Square up the face. Aim square. Feel like you are picking it up more vertical going back if you want. Turn through it as I suggest. This should pop it out. I will be doing a tip on this in the future.

  7. March 31, 2016


    Greetings Coach. A question unrelated to todays tip if I may. I played 18 holes today and whenever I do during the first nine my concentration is mostly good but on the second nine it starts to fade.Do you recommend anything to eat or drink at the turn to keep up the level? PS I hope beer fits in there somewhere—– just hoping mind you —-for the other guys. THANKS COACH

    • John,A long time ago ,I played with a Physician and told him that on the back nine I badly needed a “schnaps” to keep my game going .
      He advised me to drink a Coke instead .So when I play I take sips of Coke all along the way and don’t experience the dreaded “hypoglycemia “!
      Try it ,it works !

    • March 31, 2016

      Paul Wilson


      But why are you losing focus? Are you hungry or you are just not thinking of the right things? Bored? Playing bad?

      No beer. Sorry. That will lose you more focus. Hey, maybe that’s the problem.

      Right now you should be trying to switch to body versus arms on the course. To do this you would be swinging nice and easy trying to coil and hinge going back and touch the legs and touch the head in the follow through holding it and checking it to make sure it is perfect. There are a few things you can be thinking about. I would be doing a couple practice swings thinking about them before every shot. Then when you hit the ball you try to do them exactly the same. This should get you focusing on something.

  8. March 31, 2016



    HAHA I wish my home course here in Norfolk UK had dusty sand like that in the bunkers…. Anything I need to change in wet heavy sand?

    Cheers Craig

  9. A very useful lesson ,Paul :too many players try to “muscle “the ball out of the sand with their arms only .This is another “Powerless arms “shot .
    Turning the upper body towards the line aligned with the feet is an excellent reminder of how to play the shot .I also find that having a slow swing with a good tempo ,one to one is essential :just look at the pro’s getting out of the sand traps close to the greens :it’s a rythmic slow swing .

  10. August 13, 2017


    Paul…Do you hinge and hold through impact on bunker shots or do you release/slap the sand through impact??

    • Avatar photo

      August 13, 2017

      Paul Wilson


      I am not holding anything. This would be tightening the hinge. I am trying to do my real golf swing. Sometimes I stay a little more flat footed to hit the shot with the hips still rotating but this if I am trying to slide the club under the ball on more of a delicate shot.

      If you are not a better player (low single digit handicap) you need to do your real golf swing from bunkers. You change your swing you now have 2 swings you need to work on. Most people don’t have time to work on swing nevermind 2 swings. So you follow my bunker technique. Get good at it. The experiment a little.

      So in no way am I holding it off. In no way am I slapping the sand. I am doing a normal golf swing knowing the sand will be hit because I am lower than the ball because I dug my feet in.

      Body and Club Alignment:

      Bunker Technique:

  11. keeping things simple is the basic bunker shot same as the flop shot belt buckle to the hole.

    • Same exact swing and movement. The only change that you are making is digging your feet into the sand about 2″. Open the clubface and turn your hips.

  12. thank you for your response, I like the way you keep everything so simple in your teaching, I have
    been playing golf 48 years 30 of those off 4/5/6 handicap. I purchased your Bodyswing video a few months back so simple wish i’d had that it then. i’m now 74 just started subscripions to Ignitiongolf hope
    its not too late for me now playing off 13 handicap and need to work on my short game, I am watching your chipping tips practicing in the garden can’t stop flipping the wrists at the moment body stops and the hands flip i’ii get there in the end with your help.
    Best regards
    Mike Whiitaker

  13. December 11, 2020


    Great tip, Paul! Simplifies this shot! Sometimes I take too little sand and fly the ball over the green. What did I do then? Thanks!

    • Avatar photo

      December 15, 2020

      Paul Wilson

      You would need to dig your feet in more. This will get you to hit more behind the golf ball. The deeper you dig your feet into the bunker the lower the bottom of the arc will be and therefore the more behind the golf ball you will hit.

  14. December 11, 2020


    I use your technique out of the sand with good results. However, if I have longer distance to the hole, I use a gap wedge, regular wedge for longer shots and sometimes a 9 iron using the same sand bunker swing as you described in this video.

  15. December 15, 2020



    I assume this shot also is done with powerless arms and the power do move the shot out of the bunker comes from body rotation, correct?

    Also, isn’t your bunker technique very much akin to the medium pitch shot in terms of technique and power necessary to get the ball out of the bunker?

    Thanks. Great tip, as always.

    • Avatar photo

      December 16, 2020

      Paul Wilson

      Correct, you are using your lower body to hit the shot. This is where your power is coming from. It is close to the medium pitch shot, but pointing the club at the ground would be too short of a backswing and you would not be able to get the momentum to hit the golf ball. I usually say have the butt of the golf club aiming into the bunker to the back of you…somewhere in between the med and full pitch shot.

  16. December 17, 2020


    Thanks Paul. Appreciate the quick response. Stay Loose!

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