Longer greenside bunker shots are more difficult than shorter ones. Most people slip up because they try to fly the ball all the way with lots of spin.
But there’s a safer and more consistent way to play the shot. My preference is to take slightly more sand than normal so the ball rolls when it lands.
Set up with your clubface square to the hole and your body parallel and left of that. Position the ball just inside the front foot and get your weight on your front foot (60/40).
Make a normal backswing, maintaining your weight on your front side. You should be looking to hit the sand roughly three to four inches behind the ball, and remember to accelerate through impact.
The ball will come out with less spin than normal, so allow for that. You will be surprised at how consistent and more safe this shot is for a longer greenside bunker shot.
Strike it out the centre
Are you striking your putts out of the centre of the clubface? A centred strike with the putter is necessary to develop a more consistent roll and hole out more.
Either put lipstick across the putterface and putt to determine the strike point on the face, or place a very small piece of blue-tac either side of the sweet spot (over a ball width apart). This gives you instant feedback on your strike.
Gavin Abson is the Head PGA professional at The Carrick. For lessons, call Gavin on 07967 206266. You can also follow him on Twitter @GavinAbson.