How to Play the Uphill, Downhill and Buried Lie Bunker Shots

Mark Oswald
General Manager
The Highlands at Dove Mountain in Marana, AZ.
Marana, AZ

More Information

Uphill Bunker Shot: The key with the uphill bunker shot is to keep your hands ahead of the clubface. Do not allow your wrists to break and allow the club to pass your hands. If you are up against the lip, hill or face of the bunker you will not be able to follow through. 

• Weight is positioned with slightly more on the rear foot than front foot.

• Shoulders are level with the ground. Rear shoulder will be below the front shoulder creating a steeper swing angle.

• Clubface is open.

• Stance is open.

• Alignment is adjusted after opening stance.

• Hit sand behind the ball.

Downhill Bunker Shot: Same fundamentals as the uphill shot with the exception of leveling out your shoulders, level with the ground slope. Swing key is again to keep your hands ahead of the clubface, front arm straight and hit some sand behind the ball.

• Weight is positioned more on the front foot.

• Shoulders level to the ground angle. Your shoulders will be more level than the flat lie or uphill lie shot.

Buried Lie Bunker Shot: The major emphasis with the buried lie shot is to drive the club into the sand behind the ball. This shot will come out with no spin so you must allow for the ball to roll out.

• Drive club into the sand behind the ball.

• Stick club into the sand with firm front arm and wrist.

• Don’t allow the clubface to pass your hands.

• Weight is on the front foot.

For more help with your golf game, contact Mark Oswald at