1234 Greenside Bunker Drill

Getting the ball out of a bunker effectively is a difficult concept to master. To do so a player must understand the specific differences between a sand shot and a normal shot. The swings are completely different, setup is different, and contact is very different. This drill will specifically help your setup and swing path into the ball, an essential part of sand fundamentals.


A common miss-conception of the normal sand setup is that the swing is identical to any other shot. This is not true. After setting up open to your target, you need to swing along your feet line. This may feel as though you’re aimed well left of your target, but your open clubface will keep the ball on line.

1234 Sand Drill

Take a close look at the 1234 diagram above. After placing the ball in the center of the diagram, setup with an open stance and clubface – with one foot in the 1 and another in the 3. If you perform a swing that travels parallel to your feet line – your backswing should swing back in section 4, and your follow-through should swing through section 1. You should avoid sections 2 and 3 completely.

This swing path is one you want to emulate when you’re in the bunkers out on the course. If you can incorporate this technique with “sand-first” contact and an accelerating, full swing to finish, you’ll get out of the sand every time. With some practice you will even develop some control, and spin. Give this great drill a try!

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