The key to green-side bunker play is to do a shallow, on plane swing that allows the “bounce” of the sand wedge to carry the ball out. The golf club should enter the sand 1-2 inches behind the ball and take a “dollar bill” sized divot in the sand. The depth of the divot is critical: as one of my former instructors used to say, “take a bacon strip out of the sand, not a pork chop!”
To promote this remember to do the following:
– Use a driver stance with a bit more weight posted on your front leg
– Make a full pivot with wrist hinge on the backswing – the length of backswing depends on the distance of the shot, thickness of the sand, etc.
– Don’t cast or scoop at the ball in an attempt to lift it out, you will decelerate and hit the sand too far behind the ball resulting in a scull or fat shot
– Use your body and shoulders to accelerate the club late in the swing and splash the sand forward
– Bunker shots require more swing and velocity than standard grass shots.
For advanced players, you can adjust your stance to promote a high, soft shot with maximum backspin by aiming left of the target and addressing the shot with an open clubface.