One hazard you are guaranteed to see on any full 18-hole golf course, is a bunker. Whether it be from a pot bunker or waste bunker, with dense or fine sand, you will always need to hit a solid bunker shot.
To have any chance of recording a low score, you must be able to get up and down from greenside bunkers. Many amateur players dread seeing their ball in a greenside bunker because they are unsure about how to approach the shot.
However, now is the time to stop worrying about how you are going to get the ball up and down from a greenside bunker and turn this into a positive thought of how you will always successfully complete the shot.
The first step to playing a successful greenside bunker shot is to know what club you need. Choosing the right club will have a huge impact on the resulting shot. If you have very little green to work with between the bunker and the hole, you should use a high lofted wedge. If you have some green to work with, go for a lower lofted club, such as a sand wedge.
Next, you must sort out your stance in the bunker. Twist your feet slightly into the sand, to give you a good solid base for the shot. As a rule, you want to play the shot with the ball off your front foot. The further back the ball is in your stance, the lower the trajectory of the shot. From this position, the shot will have backspin.
Open your stance and the face of the club, to promote a high and soft ball flight and keep your weight on your front foot.
Now onto the swing and you want an outside-in swing path for a successful bunker shot. You also need to play the shot with slight wrist hinge near the top but how far back you swing the club, depends on the distance of the shot.
You will need to practice the swing regularly, until it becomes natural and you can judge distances. The more you practice, the easier it will be for you to produce the swing during a round of golf and the better you will become at controlling the distance of the shot.
When playing from the bunker you must follow through on the shot. Do not decelerate on impact with the ball as this will result in a poor shot. You are splashing the ball out onto the green and to do that you must have a steep swing and high follow through.
Furthermore, you cannot be afraid of the shot. If it helps, take a slightly bigger swing than you think you will need because you will be catching the sand anyway and the ball will not travel as far.
Once you get these basics into place and can approach a bunker shot knowing you will get the ball out and onto the green, you can work on the more technical aspects of the shot.