How to get out of the bunker first time, every time

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Struggle in the bunker? Learn how to get out of the bunker first time, every time 

Many club golfers struggle in sand because they complicate things. Aim, ball position and the release of the club all switch in a quest for a different action deemed necessary to get out. In fact, the best way to guarantee getting out is to keep things simple and familiar. That's why I suggest you follow an approach with a working title of 'shoulder-fat-shoulder'.

Simply duff the shot!
We are all too familiar with the concept of catching the ball heavy from the fairway. But in the sand, this becomes the ideal contact. To get out first time, simply think in terms of catching a normal shot fat.

Fix your entry point
At address, hover the club where you want it to enter the sand – this should be an inch or two behind the ball. Keep your eyes focused on that entry point, not the ball.

Commit to the hit
Using your shoulder-to- shoulder guide, simply swing normally. Keep your focus on applying th he club to that entry spot behind the ball. As long as you commit to the strike and followthrough, the ball will always come out.

#1: Keep it square

If getting out is your sole objective, forget everything you've been told about opening your stance and cutting across the ball and go back to square. That means clubface aiming at the target and feet, hips and shoulders parallel left (right-handers). Play the ball just forward of centre.

#2: Swing length: shoulder-to-shoulder

Use your shoulders to guide the extent of your action: swing back until your gloved hand is at the same height of your lead shoulder, and try to match the position on the way through.

#3: Controlled force

This simple reference gives you enough power to get the club through the sand, but also keeps your action compact and stable, helping you control the club's entry point into the sand.