Nothing ruins a hole that seems to be going well like a short iron shot that lands in a sand trap next to the green. Just a little bit more distance, or a little bit more left or right, and you could have avoided that awful sand bunker. But, here you are and now it is time to focus on a successful chip from the sand.
Here are a few key tips when trying to get your ball onto the green when you’re stuck in the sand trap.
- Start by choosing the right club. You can use either a 6-iron or an 8-iron, whichever you’re more comfortable using and play the ball back in your stance about a half inch from center.
- Keep your head level throughout the shot, since there’s no tolerance for error with this shot. You don’t want to be moving your head from side to side or up and down when making this shot.
- Keep your swing arc radius constant as well. Usually, it’s the length of your left arm extended if you’re a right-handed golfer. Look to make contact with the bottom quarter of the ball without digging deep into the sand.
A good chip shot from the bunker requires making a dead-hands swing on the ball while keeping the clubhead about a quarter of an inch above the sand. Any error in height through impact with the clubhead leads to a bad shot.
The ball comes out with backspin on it and stops shorter than normal. So, swing as though you intended to hit the ball 15 percent farther than the pin.
The secret to making this shot is ball placement. Try to be as precise as you can in where you play the ball in your stance. Too far forward or too far backward won’t do. So, practice this shot and keep these key tips in mind when trying to get out of the bunker.