What is the Hardest Shot in Golf?

There are plenty of difficult shots to be encountered on the golf course, but which one is the toughest? Is there one shot that stands out above the rest as being difficult to master? The answer to this question will vary depending on who you ask. Some golfers struggle mightily trying to hit a draw, but can hit a fade with ease. For another group of golfers, the story might be the exact opposite. However, there is one shot that most golfers will agree is the hands down hardest shot to hit well.

The long bunker shot.

With some practice, most golfers can get comfortable enough with the greenside bunker shot to at least get up out of the bunker and onto the green. However, no matter how much you practice, the long bunker shot is likely to always be a challenge. Even the best golfers in the world don’t like seeing their ball in a bunker that is 30 or 40 yards from the target – it is just a hard shot to hit.

The reason this shot is so difficult is that it falls right between an explosion shot and a regular golf shot. When you are in a greenside bunker, you can ‘explode’ the ball out of the sand by digging the club into the sand under the ball so it floats up and out. However, if you try this technique from 30 or 40 yards away, the ball is almost certainly going to land short of the target.

So, to compensate, you have to try and make impact with the sand much closer to the ball. However, if you get too close to the ball, it is easy to hit the shot much too hard and have it sail way long of the target. Often, this can be even worse than coming up short because there may be trouble beyond the green that you have a hard time recovering from.

The best way to handle this shot is simply to avoid it. When you are picking your target for an approach shot (or a drive), take note of any bunkers that are in this difficult range short of the green. Plan a shot that will safely avoid those bunkers so you don’t have to deal with the long bunker shot at all. With good game planning and proper execution, hopefully you can steer clear of this big challenge.