How to Hit a Perfect 30-Yard Shot from a Bunker: Tips for Golfers

If there is one shot that stands out above the rest as the most difficult in all of golf, it just might be the 30 yard bunker shot. From this distance, it is incredibly challenging to make contact with the ball in such a way that it gets up out of the bunker, goes the proper distance, and stops after it lands. Even experienced golfers hate to see this shot presented to them on the course, because they know just how hard it is to pull off. You will always need a little bit of luck to hit this shot just right, but some tips can help you handle the situation a little better.

  • Use less loft when possible. While you probably use your sand wedge most of the time from the bunker around the green, you can go down to a gap wedge or pitching wedge for a 30 yard bunker shot – if the shape of the bunker allows you to. In order to make this work, you will need to be in a bunker with a lower lip so you don’t need too much elevation to get out of the sand. When the lip is low enough, using less loft will help you to cover the full distance all the way to the hole.
  • Hit it like a chip. The normal greenside bunker shot is called an ‘explosion’ because you are trying to blast through the sand to get the ball up onto the green. However, an explosion shot usually won’t have enough power to carry the full 30 yard distance for this shot. Instead, try using your basic chipping motion to make clean contact with the ball. In order to pull this off, you will have to keep your head very still and make sure your eyes stay on the ball until you make contact.
  • Take your medicine. Sometimes, you will find yourself with a long bunker shot that simply isn’t worth the risk to attempt to get close to the hole. When that is the case, take your medicine by picking a safer line and making sure you get your ball in position for the next shot. This might mean aiming away from the hole at a section of grass that you are sure you can reach easily. You don’t want to waste several shots in the bunker, so think smart and choose a shot that you know you can execute properly.