While learning how to hit a 60-yard bunker shot is helpful, knowing how to maximize spin on a greenside bunker shot is more useful. Knowing how to hit this shot helps when playing hard courses with difficult pin placements, where hitting bunker shots that hold the green is paramount. Without backspin, you could roll across the green and into the rough or even another greenside bunker.
Here are six keys to hitting this shot:
• Choose your setup
• Slip your hands through impact
• Open the clubface wide
• Avoid blocking the shot
• Don’t hit the ball too hard
• Practice, practice, practice
Two ways exist to hit this shot. Both require you to slip your wedge’s blade through the sand very quickly and very close to the ball. This propels the ball through the air while the clubface drags the sand behind it.
With the first way, you use a normal wedge setup. Then, take a long backswing and slip your hands/wrists through impact quickly. Stop them immediately after impact. Use a normal sand setup with the second way. Then take a normal sand shot setup while, again, slipping your hands/wrists through impact quickly.
Open up the clubface as much as you can when executing these shots. This maximizes backspin without propelling the ball forward. Don’t hit the ball too hard, since you only want it to carry about 8-10 yards.
Be careful you don’t “block” the shot. Blocking occurs when the leading wrist stays above the trailing wrist after impact. This prevents you from releasing the club properly. Blocking destroys club control and slows the clubface down as it cuts through the sand.
It takes practice to learn this shot. Practice both methods of doing it. Then use the one that works best for you. Knowing how to maximize backspin from a greenside bunker can save you strokes.