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The Fifty Yard bunker shot.

The Fifty Yard bunker shot.

The Fifty Yard bunker shot.

Hi, I’m Mel Sole, Director of Instruction at the Mel Sole Golf School, headquartered at Pawleys Plantation Golf and Country Club in Pawleys Island, SC.  We conduct 1, 2 and 3-day golf schools, hourly golf lessons, and senior golf schools—any golf instruction program your heart desires. Give us a call at 800-624-4653 or 843-237-4993.  We will be happy to book a commuter school or a package that contains accommodations, golf, and golf school.

Monthly Golf Tips by the Mel Sole Golf School.

This month’s golf tip comes via Larry Wintz, who says that his short bunker shots have really improved since he attended the golf school. However, the longer bunker shots still give him trouble as he either hits them fat or sculls them over the green. So Larry, here is a solution to your situation.

The Problem.

The main problem with a long bunker shot is that most golfers are unsure whether to pitch or blast this shot. For example, in picture #1, I have about a 50-yard bunker shot with a fairly good lie in soft sand. I could pitch it by taking my 60-degree wedge and hitting a perfect 9 o’clock shot (see my tip on pitching), or I could take my sand wedge and try to hit a tough blast shot, hoping the ball will carry all the way to the green.

The Fifty Yard bunker shot


The Technique.

On this occasion, I prefer to play a blast shot because the sand is soft, and I could hit a pitch shot a little fat. By taking a 9 iron instead of a sand wedge, I don’t have to swing as hard to carry the ball all the way.

The Fifty Yard bunker shot


Take your normal stance as if you would play a regular sand shot but select your 9 iron.

The Fifty Yard bunker shot


Swing back as far as you would for a 30 to 40-yard pitch shot.


And make sure that after impact, you follow through all the way through to a full finish. As you can see in picture #4, my hands have finished above my head.

This shot needs a little practice at first.  It would be best if you built trust in knowing what the ball will do, particularly if you’ve always hit only your sand wedge for bunker shots. You will discover that you do not have to swing as hard to get a great result. Try this next time you have that dreaded long bunker shot. I’m sure you will be pleased with the result!

Source: Mel Sole Golf School.

Thanks for reading – The Fifty Yard bunker shot.  I hope you try this on the range before trying it on the course.

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Practice Tough Shots – Short Game Saturday #47.

3 wood ball below the feet – Technical Thursday #36.

Be as Mentally Tough as Jason Day!

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Great bunker play made easy!


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