The 30- to 40-yard bunker shot is one of the most dreadful in golf. Hit fat and you’re facing a long putt or perhaps another bunker shot. Hit it thin and you’re 50 yards past the pin in goodness knows what kind of lie. Long bunker shots require a full, powerful swing and the room for error is small.
Instead of risking a fat plopper or a thin home run, try chipping instead. We’ve talked about chipping from wet sand before, and the long chip is not very different.
Play the ball as you would a normal chip – off your rear toe or so – and grip down on the club an extra inch or two. Hit the ball first and play for a lot of run as you would on a normal chip. It’s better to hit these a bit thin than fat because you won’t be swinging very hard. Attempt the chip only if the lip is rather small and you’re comfortable getting over the lip.
The next time you’re faced with a long bunker shot, don’t dread the long ball. Play for a bunt and chip your ball near the pin.