Bunker shots always bring a lot of anxiety for beginner golfers but not all bunker shots are the same. Some are tougher than others and one of the most difficult shots on the golf course is the 50 yard bunker shot.
Being close to the green, its easy to be fooled into thinking this shot is more comfortable than being 150 yards away from the green. However, the 50 yard bunker is one of the most challenging bunker shots on the golf course.
If you do not take enough sand with the shot, you can easily send the ball across the other side of the green, leaving another tricky shot. If you take too much sand you can leave the ball short of the green and possibly in more trouble.
The key to a good 50 yard bunker shot is to start with a solid foundation. Shuffle your feet gently so you get a firm footing in the sand. You do not want your feet to be moving in the sand as you swing the club as you will lose balance.
Club selection is important and you will need to take one or two more clubs than you usually would for this distance. Grip down on your club of choice to give you more control.
When chipping around the green, your weight tends to be more on your front foot and the same applies when playing a 50 yard bunker shot. Have 60% of your weight on the front foot, which will encourage you to come down more steeply on the ball. When you are ready to play the shot, take a three-quarter backswing.
The major aspect of playing a 50 yard bunker shot is to take both the ball and the sand together. Doing this should avoid leaving the ball short or sending it too long. When practicing, you can draw a line in the sand, just a few inches behind the ball. If you have 60% of your weight on your front foot, you should be able to avoid hitting the line and come inside it when playing the shot.
Having contacted the ball, do not stop the swing motion of the club. Swing the club through the ball and complete a three-quarter follow through. This is easy to remember as both the backswing and follow through are three-quarter and not full swings.
Finally, try not to panic and swing the club freely. Having completed the set-up process, you have done everything you can to promote a good shot. Play the 50 yard bunker shot with confidence.