Playing out of a greenside bunker is the easiest shot in golf because you don't have to hit the ball. Having a sand wedge in your bag is essential because the sole of the club is lower and hits the sand first, which propels your ball out of the bunker.
Here's how to execute a bunker shot:
1) Open the clubface and take your regular grip.
2) Feel the texture of the sand under your feet. If it's fluffy, you need to take a fairly forceful swing. If the sand is firm, your club will go through it faster so you shouldn't swing as hard.
3) Set your feet and body open to the target and play the ball forward in your stance.
4) Set the handle and your hands behind the ball.
5) Swing the club along the line of your feet and shoulders. Your wrists should hinge early.
6) Leave the clubface open on the downswing and hit two or three inches behind the ball. Keep your head down through impact.
7) Don't stop at the impact position. Swing through the ball.
After a while, you might even discover that bunker shots can be a blast.
Sandra Palmer is director of women's golf at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo. Contact her at (949) 305-5100.