The Plugged Lie Bunker Shot


Before we get on to the technique, here are some simple rules to follow….

  • The worst your lie (the more plugged your ball is) the further back in your stance you should position the ball. The better your lie, the further forward you position the ball in your stance.
  • The further back you position the ball in your stance, the more you should square up or close the clubface, this uses the leading edge to dig the ball out. As the ball moves forward, the face can open to use the bounce effectively.
  • The more you open the clubface the more backspin you can produce, this means that the ball will check and stop quicker. The more the face is closed the more roll you will get on the ball on landing.


  1. The bottom of the ball is below the surface of the sand, so my club must dig down to get underneath it. This means I will need to play this shot with a slightly closed clubface. I will close the face first then take my grip. My stance will remain parallel to the target line.
  2. I will also put a little more weight onto my left side at set -up 55/45 – to create a slightly steeper swing.
  3. The ball position is in the centre of my stance.
  4. I am looking at a point 2 inches behind the ball. This is where I want the club to enter the sand at impact.
  5. I keep my hands ahead of the ball.



Feel that you break your wrists nice and early. With the ball buried in the sand we are going to have to dig deep to get the clubhead underneath it – and that means making a sharp and upright backswing. Preserve the steepness to by retaining a feeling of the clubhead being outside your hands.

At the top
Feel the angle that the shaft makes to your left forearm is more than 90 degrees – almost more like 110. This massive hinge loads the wrists for a really explosive impact – you need to shift a lot of sand here.

Starting down
As you make your downswing, lead the grip end of the club down with your hands. That thought allows you to hang on to the big wrist angle you created on the backswing, which sets up a digging impact. Make sure your weight transfers on to your front foot.

Hitting zone
All this time your eyes have been glued to that point 2 inches behind the ball. Strike that spot hard with the clubhead. Really dig deep under the ball, exploding it out. The ball will come out with zero spin and will run out on landing so you will need to allow for that.

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