Balls buried in the sand in greenside bunkers look like very tough shots, but they aren’t that difficult if you know what you’re doing. My technique is to put a lot of weight on the left side, and try not to open the clubface.
If you open the face, you hit it with the bounce which isn’t good. I put the club around three to five centimetres behind the ball at address, and hit aggressively down on it. I hit deep into the sand with not much of a release, almost leaving the club in the sand and I let the sand try to basically hit the shot for me. That’s all I do in my practice and on the course, and this really helps to allow the ball to pop and release out onto the green. Give it a go and see how you get on.
Now, this is the difficult bunker shot. I’d even say this is the trickiest shot in golf. From 60 yards, if the ball is sitting okay, I’m going to hit a pitch-type shot. I’ll set up with a narrower stance, and I will make sure I have the ball a little bit on the back foot as I try to hit the ball lower than usual. The trajectory will go much lower with a lot of spin.
It’s important to remember to let your hands release unlike with the plugged bunker shot. But this does require a lot of practice and it’s a hard shot to master. It’s a shot even us professional sometimes fear!