To hit a bunker shot, use an out-to-in swing with an open clubface. For anyone who plays tennis, it is very similar to a cut shot. To achieve this cutting action, your body and clubface are open in the set-up.
First, open your clubface before taking hold of the club. As you hold the club in front of you, imagine that a square clubface position is equal to 12 o’clock. Turn the leading edge clockwise so that it points between 1 and 2 o’clock. As you take your grip, you will notice the blade is open or aiming to the right of target.
Second, set your body square to the target line. Then pull back your left foot so your body lines aim left of the target.
Take a wide stance for a firm foundation in the sand. Position the ball just forward of center.
Swing the club along your new body lines. Do not be alarmed by the feeling that you are going to hit the ball left due to the out-to-in swing path.
The opening of the clubface and cutting-across motion will make the ball pop out and to the right—straight toward the hole.
Hit a few inches behind the ball to allow the club to bounce. The length of the follow-through controls the length of the shot: a short through-swing produces a short shot, a fuller swing produces a longer shot.
Do not be afraid to hit down hard on the sand. The more sand you take, the less distance the ball will travel.
Even for a short shot, you need to swing hard to have the ball travel only a small distance. If you have a short shot with a high wall on the bunker, open your clubface and stance even more. This will cause the ball to pop out higher and land softly.