This edition of Tee It Up Grand Strand takes us to Prestwick Country Club.  PGA Head Golf Professional, Jay Smith talks to us from the practice range.  He has some great tips to improve bunker play.  His tips are very useful to golfers working their way around Prestwick’s green complexes.

“Many golfers are really, really scared of the bunkers” said Smith.

That makes it very tough to play out of the bunker.  Fear of the shot and thinking too much about the bad that can happen will lead to nightmares for many golfers.  Today we are going to see a couple of shots amateur golfers can use to have more confidence in getting the golf ball out of the bunker much easier.

The one and only thing to think about when hitting a shot out of the bunker is….get the ball out of the sand!  That is the only thing amateurs need to focus on.  Jay tells us that if they start thinking too much about placement and distance of the shot that the chances of leaving the ball in the bunker increase tremendously.  Remember to focus on simply getting the ball back onto the fairway or onto the green.

1.  Grip pressure is important.  Long bunker shots require tight grip pressure.  Shot bunker shot need less grip pressure.

2.  Dig into the sand a little with your stance to get a firm foundation. Make sure to aim left of the target.

3.  Open the blade of the sand wedge.  This helps get the ball airborne and will come out with spin to the right.

4.  Follow through!  When taking the swing, it is very important to hit a little behind the golf ball and follow through the swing.  If you stop the swing at contact the ball will most likely still be in the bunker after you hit it.  So following through on the swing is key to playing a good bunker shot.

Bunker shots do not have to be scary for the weekend warrior.  If you get the ball out of the bunker, it is a good bunker shot.  That is a result we can all look for.  Relax.  Open the club face.  Follow through on the swing.

Visit for more tips and to make a tee time.

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