Terri Migliaccio, PGA Professional Director of Player Development

This shot seems to bring on more anxiety and fear for my students than any other shot in their game. It shouldn’t have to be like this. If you have knowledge on how to execute this shot, a clear picture and a good feel for it, you can get out of a greenside bunker every time!

This biggest fault I see with my students is that they are ‘trying’ to lift the ball out of the bunker. Also, they have no concept on how the club has to interact with the sand for the ball to come out high and land soft on the green. Most of the time they leave the ball in the bunker, or the ball goes flying over the green, this is because their swing is too short and they hit the ball first ..

The first fear to get over is making a full swing. I know, you are saying, but I only want the ball to go 10 yards. Yes this is correct, but you also have to remember that you will be taking sand before the ball.. The sand will come between your clubface and the ball. The power of your full swing hitting the sand first will help the sand propel the ball out and onto the green.

So, to help you develop a good move in the bunker I would want you to do this. Go practice in a practice bunker. Practice, without a ball, making a full swing and hitting the sand. The entrance point of your sand wedge, hitting the sand, would be pretty much in the middle of your stance. Make sure you finish your swing and give it some speed. Don’t be afraid of making the full swing and please don’t be ‘afraid’ of hitting the sand. This has to happen to propel the ball out of the bunker. After you get a good feel throw down a few balls. Do this over the ball, without fear! You will surprise yourself how well the ball comes out! If you’d like to set up your own session with me please go to, , to set up your lesson. Or email me at,

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