Golf Pro Tip: Escaping a Bunker

Learn how to escape a sand trap with ease with these tips from golf club designer Roger Cleveland.

Don’t let landing in a sand trap ruin your round at your favorite golf course.

By taking the time to set your stance and prepare your shot, you can have an easy escape from the beach. Golf club designer Roger Cleveland offers several tips on how to get yourself out of a bunker.


The first step to escaping a bunker is having the right stance.

“First of all, you need to have a wider base in which to hit down against,” Cleveland says.

A pitch shot requires you to be tight and close to the ball. But to escape a bunker, you want to be farther away from the ball and have your legs spread apart in a wider stance. Make sure to have your lead foot open so you can lean into it and avoid coming off the ball.


Before you attempt your shot, you will need to have proper alignment to your target.

“The ball is going to go on your alignment,” Cleveland says. “You don’t want to have your stance open. You want to be absolutely square to the target.”


When you are ready to attempt your shot, you must be conscious of your swing. Look to hit three to four inches behind the ball. It is best to not get any closer than that for optimal results. When you practice, it can be helpful to draw a circle around the ball with your club to help judge this distance.

“You don’t have to swing hard,” Cleveland says. “You just have to take that sand out from underneath the ball. It is the only shot in golf that you don’t hit the ball.”

Another good way to conquer bunkers is to avoid them altogether. Cleveland offers several additional tips on how to improve your chip shot over a sand trap to help you land on a tight pin.

Use these Pro Tips to help your handicap and learn to escape the bunker with ease.