3 Must-Know Bunker Shot Tips from John Novosel, Jr.

How to Hit Sand Shots: Explained

John Novosel Jr here with GoGolf365.

Today, I want to give you guys three must-know tips that will help you out of the bunker, and more importantly, help you to understand what you're doing.

F2 Wedge

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Tip #1: Learn Where You Enter the Sand

The first of the bunker shot tips is finding the bottom of your arc and where your club is going to enter that sand. So that's really the most important thing you can do.

So your first key is get in the bunker and just practice some shots. Start to learn, where do you enter the sand? Just throw some sand out on the green.

Tip #2: Tempo

The second one of the bunker shot tips is tempo. As you know, my Dad and I have something called Tour Tempo, and in the bunker we want more of a two-to-one tempo. So it looks something like that.

We're not going to put a ton of energy into the downswing, but we do need to be confident and aggressive depending on the stroke.

Tip #3: Watch the Wrist

The last of the bunker shot tips I want to talk about is not getting crazy with the wrist.

I see all kinds of stuff - just have a nice amount of bounce around your club, and make a normal swing knowing where you enter the bottom of that sand.

Recommended Wedge: F2 Wave Series

I've got this special club from F2 that’s got a huge bounce on it.

It's a dual bounce, as you can see right there, and that really helps me glide through the sand.

So I've got a sort of a standard bunker shot right here. I'm not gonna open it a lot with this club, I don't need to it's 60º.

Take a normal stance here, and then nothing too crazy but find that rhythm, and I know I'm going to hit the sand somewhere in there. There's a nice shot right on line with my target. I had some confidence into the sand, and I had some tempo into the backswing.

So when you combine these bunker shot tips with a good entry point and solid wedge, with a lot of bounce, you're gonna get great results.

John Novosel Jr. is the Co-Creator of Tour Tempo. Tour Tempo is the best-selling book published by Doubleday and is a 5-star app for iOS. In addition to TT, he has patented or co-patented 4 swing training aids. He recently authored Tour Tempo Force, which hit #1 on Apple books for all sports.


He has given thousands of speed lessons to golfers of all abilities from Major Champions through beginners. He also walks the walk, at 52 years old he produces swing speeds over 130 mph and has competed in long drive events, his longest drive in competition is 402 yards.

Bunker Shot Tips FAQs

What is a bunker in golf?

A bunker is a hazard on a golf course that consists of a sand-filled depression. 

How does playing the ball back in your stance help in a bunker shot?

Playing the ball back in your stance helps in a bunker shot because it makes solid contact with the sand, rather than the clubface, which will propel the ball out of the bunker.

Why is acceleration through the shot crucial in a bunker shot?

Acceleration through the shot is crucial in a bunker shot because it provides the necessary power to get the ball out of the bunker and onto the green. A smooth and accelerating swing will result in maximum distance and a better chance of success.

What is the difference between a greenside bunker shot and a fairway bunker shot?

A greenside bunker shot is one that is taken from the sand near the green, whereas a fairway bunker shot is taken from the sand located in the fairway. The main difference is the proximity to the green and the type of sand that is usually in each type of bunker.

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