Bunkers are the arch-nemesis of many golfers. Once you are in the sand, you fear the worst and all you want to do is get your ball out in the least amount of shots.
But we want you to feel confident and we want you to have no fear for sand traps. When you hit your ball in a bunker, you should be looking to get up and down every single time.
There are many different techniques that you can use to hit good bunker shots, but Francesca from Denton Golf Club in Manchester has got a great practice drill to help you perfect your bunker play.
Francesca competes in the Rose Ladies Series and many other professional competitions up and down the country.
When you go to the practice bunker at your local golf course, put a ball down in the sand and use your finger to create a circle around your ball.
This is the doughnut and you should aim to hit the edge of the doughnut behind the ball. This will ensure your club is able to slide under the sand and under your ball, lifting it over the lip and on to the green.
Many golfers experience problems in the sand because they take too much sand and they hit their shot heavy. The doughnut provides a solid guide as to where you should be striking the sand.
Another issue is not taking enough sand and you thin the ball out of the bunker. Once again, the doughnut provides a line that you should hit which prevents making 100% contact with the golf ball and ensures you took the perfect amount of turf.
By hitting the edge of the doughnut, you are utilising the bounce feature of your wedge and splashing the ball out of the sand. The bounce of your wedge is important because this feature affects your turf interaction.
When you are in competition, you cannot obviously create a doughnut around your ball in a bunker. However, you can visualise it and then execute your shot.
Visualisation is crucial in golf and the doughnut drill is part of this. It instils a consistent ball-striking position in the sand and ensures that you will no longer catch your shot heavy or thin your ball into the lip of the trap.