Hitting A Sloping Lie Bunker Shot: Advice For New Golfers

When you land in an inconveniently-shaped bunker, don’t let it get you down. Escaping that bunker lie is not as difficult as it looks. Many of these horrible bunkers are placed close to the green. For this reason, mastering this shot can put you at a great advantage—getting you onto the green quicker than your opponents. So, here’s how to make the best of a bad situation by mastering the sloped lie bunker shot.

Steady your stance

When you’re standing in the soft sand, it’s easy to become imbalanced during your swing. A good way to steady yourself is to dig your feet into the sand. This will keep you quite stable despite the gradient of the slope or the slipperiness of the sand. Just be sure to position yourself correctly before planting yourself in one spot.

Align your shoulders correctly

Is your slope downhill or uphill? Whichever one it is, position your shoulders so that they are parallel with the slope’s angle. Your swing will not come down correctly unless you perform this step. If necessary, use your club to measure the angle of your shoulders and then compare that with the angle of the slope. The better you align your shoulders, the more accurate your shot will be.

Adjust your body according to your shoulders

The rest of your body should now be positioned to match your shoulders. This often feels awkward, but your ball is in an awkward position, so don’t let this put you off.

Sweep underneath the ball

Now that you’re standing correctly, you can make your swing. Remember to sweep the clubface underneath the ball. Often on a bunker shot like this, the clubface won’t touch the ball; it will hit the sand which will in turn propel the ball out of the bunker.

When to follow through

Follow through will also depend on whether the lie is downhill or uphill. If it’s an uphill lie, a follow through is unnecessary because the club will simply smack into the sand. However, if your lie is on a downhill slope, a follow through must be performed to make the shot more effective.

While your focus should be on getting the ball out, spend a few extra seconds planning where the ball should land. If the green is nearby, you may be able to put yourself in a position to beat your opponent despite the mistake of landing in the bunker.