Don’t fear the bunker

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Weekly pro golf tip

By The Staff

Many of us have anxiety as we see our golf ball flying towards a greenside bunker.

By paying attention to your setup, you can become more confident in this shot.

First, you need to align your feet left of the target with an open stance. 

The important part is to have an open club face which allows you to effectively use the bounce of your sand wedge. Make sure your clubface is aimed at your target. The ball position for this shot needs to be slightly in front of the middle of your stance, since you will be impacting the sand first. Also, your weight will be more on your front foot to help you hit down.

Now, it is important to remember that wherever the sand goes the ball will go. Your swing should be about twice as big for the same distance out of grass, and it is important to make sure your follow through mirrors your backswing to ensure you are accelerating through the ball. 

Use these tips next time you are in the greenside bunker and enjoy having a closer putt to save your par.


Joshua Miller is a Certified PGA professional in Littleton. He began golfing at 4 years-old, competing in junior golf tournaments soon after.

As a senior at Broomfield High School, he led the varsity team to a league championship and held the honor of low scoring average for the league.

After high school, Miller attended New Mexico State University to pursue a career in golf through their Professional Golf Management Program.

Miller has worked at several golf courses in Colorado, which include: Saddleback Golf Club, The Ranch Country Club, Deer Creek Golf Club and Red Rocks Country Club.

He has played in various Colorado Section tournaments and several state opens, including the Wyoming Open, New Mexico Open and Nevada Open.

Miller takes an individualized approach to teaching golf, knowing that everyone’s body and experience level is different. He builds upon these to teach the fundamentals, while building a consistent golf swing that any student can confidently take to the course.

Through September, Miller will be offering weekly golf tips to help you improve your game.

He teaches indoors at Dick’s Sporting Goods at the Southwest Plaza Mall and can be contacted by phone at 720-234-3560 or by e-mail at jgmiller@pga.com for individual lesson information.