Six of the Best...Bunker players of all time

Following Dustin Johnson’s stunning hole out for eagle during the final round at The Barclays, here are six players we consider to be the greatest bunker players of all time...

Posted 30 August 2011
by Andy Roberts
Donald: first class
 1 of 6 

Luke Donald

Where better to start than World No.1 Luke Donald, who has ranked first in sand-save percentage for three of the last five years on the PGA Tour.

Donald found 88 bunkers in America last season and got up and down 56 times for a 64% average.

This season’s three-time champion also ranked top of the pile on the European Tour last year with 17 saves from 23 bunker shots for a 74% average.

Donald is currently playing with different wedges to last season, changing from Mizuno's MP-T10 to the company's newest model, the MP-T11.

Like its predecessor, the MP-T11 wedges are forged from 1025 carbon steel and feature Mizuno's Quad Cut Groove technology. The company says the process allows Mizuno to precisely control the width, depth, draft angle and shoulder radius of each groove more precisely.

Donald’s bunker tip: “Good fundamentals are the key. I see a lot of amateurs put the ball too far back in the stance; you want it on your front foot to get the height. Use the back edge of the club, and keep the club face nice and open.”

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Any of them available for lessons? I know the theory re- bunker play, but if it's a deep greenside bunker then forget it, I'd be as well playing out sideways / backwards.

Funnily enough, I'm happier with longer bunker shots where it's more of a pick off the sand, it's the splash shot I can't handle.

Posted: 30/08/2011 at 14:29

Played in the Moray Seniors Open yesterday and one of my playing companions holed his bunker shot at the 17th for an eagle 3

Certainly helped his card - and made his day.

Posted: 30/08/2011 at 14:34

I think Paul Azinger would be a bit aggrieved at not being in that list, I'd put him ahead of Luke Donald (for now at least, maybe I'll feel differently in a few years time).

Posted: 30/08/2011 at 16:30

Can't argue with any of the six.

But I can be no judge, bunkers have messed with my mind, I'd feature in the 6 worst bunker players of all time.

Posted: 01/09/2011 at 21:52

Why isn't Tommy Nakajima on the list

Posted: 02/09/2011 at 18:58

How can Gene Sarazen not be on the list?

He revolutionised bunker play when he invented the modern sand wedge with a flange and bounce angle.

Posted: 02/09/2011 at 21:49

He may of invented the Sand Wedge but was he one of the best bunker players of all time?

Posted: 02/09/2011 at 22:22

Would not really argue with the list except to add that Tiger Woods was as good as any in his hey day. Do all these fine golfers have anything in common, other than the ability to play great bunker shots?

Incidentally, I played a round of golf last year where I got up and down from a bunker 6 times in the round for 100%. Needless to say I was having a shyte round of golf. 

Posted: 03/09/2011 at 11:08

I remember one round of golf where we were playing £1 bits, on the 13th hole I was accused of deliberately going in the bunkers to win the bit (I was £5 up at the time).

Posted: 03/09/2011 at 17:44

Jim, good job you were not playing 'woodies' then.

Posted: 04/09/2011 at 00:05