There’s no shot that gives golfers more trouble than the basic bunker shot.

It’s a real round-killer for most golfers, and a skill which requires lots of subtle, but important, adjustments to your technique. Generally speaking, golfers run into two problems in bunkers:

  • Either they chop down on the ball too steeply, causing their clubface to dig into the sand too deeply, which results in chunks that leave their ball in the bunker.
  • Or they don’t swing steeply enough. They approach the ball at too shallow an angle, causing the club to skim the sand behind the ball – or missing the sand entirely – then rising back up into the ball. That causes bladed shots that sail long of the green.

The key is to blend the right combination of both, and for that, we’re turning to a go-to feel that Luke Donald trusts around the green.

‘Windshield wipers’

Donald is perhaps the best bunker player of the modern era, and he says that golfers should practise hitting shots keeping their arms still, but moving their wrists like “windshield wipers” back and forth.

As he explains:

“Your wrists should feel like you’re moving the club like windshield wipers… feel the hinge and unhinge of the wrists. You want to feel a short stroke with speed, and the feeling like you’re throwing the clubhead into the sand behind the ball. That will engage the bounce of the club, and allow the club to glide through the same.”

It’s the feeling of using your wrists to throw the clubhead into the ball that’s key, Donald says.