Gerina Piller: Basics Of Bunker Shot

The bunker shot requires some knowledge of fundamentals. See how Gerina Piller executes her bunker basics.


Bunker games on the PGA tour are pretty good. Is bunker game strong on LPGA?

For sure.


And I definitely think that speed is very crucial to bunker game, having speed to get the ball out, up, and spin, because there's a lot of technique that goes with the bunker shot that you don't actually hit the ball to get the ball out which creates spin.

Yeah, exactly.

And, you know, everyone wants to hit that pretty shot, that bunker shot that's high and checks a foot from the hole. So for me, I'll draw a few lines here. We'll go to this pen. For me I like to put a little forward in my stance.


I'm going to be open.


And so this is kind of like where my stance is. Obviously, it's left of the-- probably a little more left than I normally would play it. It's left. I'm going to open my face. And it's going to be pointed where I want the ball to go. So it's going to be pointed right.

Over there at the flag.

Obviously, at the flag. However, I'm going to swing on the same path as my feet--


--which is the left.


The big thing about hitting out of the bunker is you don't ever really want to use this part of the club, the weighted edge.

In the chipping, you discussed at length about how you use the front of the club in chipping, but not on the bunker.


We go in on the back side.

Correct. This is the great invention of the bounce.


You want to use the bounce, because if I use the bounce in that bunker, it's going to allow my club--

Keep going.

--to bounce out of the bunker. If I use the leading edge and I take it up, does it bounce out of the bunker? No.

No, it's going to dig.

So this is the part that I really want to focus on hitting the sand.

Back there.

And the one way to kind of cheat that is what? Opening the face, right?

Yes, it makes it pronounced, right?


It lowers it down, yeah. And so what I do, I play it a little forward, have a slight left weight shift. And from there I want to make sure that I swing on the line of my feet, which is out to in. And I really want to focus on hitting the sand with the bounce.

And with the ball being set up forward, you're pretty much guaranteeing you're going to hit it fat.



And about an inch or two behind the ball.


Man, you made that look easy.

I think everyone will notice how far left you are. And, of course, you said you're left. But you're well left, which is great. It gives you a lot of room, right?

Yes. Yes.

A lot of room to maneuver here.

A lot of room and a lot of room to be a little lower. You know, I'm not really standing high over the ball.

No you're down in there a little bit.

Kind of get there and my hands are a little lower, probably a little lower than most people.

That's good.

That's my golf swing.


And when I go through, I want to make sure I hold this face up like this to the sky.

Almost looking back at you.

That is how you hit the bunker shot with the bounce of the club.

Love it.



With a bunker shot, you want to have more of a V swing than a U--

As opposed to a U. Yep.

--because you want the club to enter the sand, exit the sand. And you want to do that by the bounce. Hit the bounce exit the sand. And so--

That's why you want to hit it with the back of it. So it doesn't keep going to Tasmania, as we say, right?