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50-Yard Bunker Shots Made Easy – Golf Tips And Tricks

The big fear

The 50-yard bunker shot is one of the toughest shots in golf. It's a shot that strikes fear into the heart of golfers everywhere - even the professionals.

You can't splash the ball out like a normal bunker shot because it the pin is too far away and you will come up short. But you can't hit a full shot or take a full swing because if you do, you will send the ball flying over the green.

However with a few adjustments in set up and swing, you can become very competent at the 50-yard bunker shot and get over your fear of it forever.

Decisions, decisions

You have two options: you can fly it all the way to the pin with a sand wedge, or you can take a 9-iron and run the ball along the ground to the flag. Deciding which option to choose depends on what is between you and the flag.

If there is nothing between you and the flag, you can run it along the ground. Take a less lofted club (but with enough loft to get the ball out) and land the ball in front of the green. Like they do in links golf, the ball will run all the way to the hole. If you want to run the ball to the hole, take the same amount of sand that you normally would for a regular bunker shot.

If there is trouble between you and the hole, say bunker or water, you will want to fly the ball further through the air. Grab your sand wedge and take a bigger swing than normal to fly the ball through the air so it clears all the trouble. Take less sand than normal so that the ball flies further through the air.

The setup

Set up like you would for a normal bunker shot:

  • Everything aiming to the left

  • Clubface turned in the hands and the face open with the leading edge pointing at the target

  • Weight on the left side

You will want to grip further up the club than you would for a normal bunker shot as you need a longer shaft and more club in your hands to hit the ball further.

The swing

Take a three quarter swing, with the hands reaching near the right shoulder. Remember to fully commit to the shot. If you quit at all, you will hit the ball heavy.


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