Recovery shots are very important in Major Championships as, with all difficult courses, it is impossible to not make any mistakes.

OakmontAll golfers miss greens and a lot of the time they will be faced with a bunker shot of some description.

Sand shots are shots that golfers traditionally find tough to play. This might be because they fear bunkers, have a poor technique, have no confidence or a combination of all of these factors. Below you will find some advice on how to deal with all of these issues.

Fear of bunkers and a lack of confidence in playing bunker shots are essentially the same thing and can be easily improved with one simple strategy, more practice. The more often you play and practice these types of shots the less you will be intimidated when you are faced with them during a round of golf. Spend time in the practice bunker at your club, course or local driving range and practice playing different types of bunker shots. Hit short and long shots as well as playing from good and bad lies. The more often you see these shots escaping the sand the more confident you will become when you are on the course. Do not neglect this part of your practice and make sure you dedicate some time to rehearsing these trouble shots.

Good quality practice can help deal with fear and confidence issues when faced with a sand shot, however, it is also important to have a good technique when playing these shots.

One of the most common issues with poor bunker play is not understanding how the sand wedge is designed to work. The sand wedge has bounce built into the sole of the club and this is what controls how far the sand wedge will dig into the sand. With a good lie you want to club to take a shallow cut of sand so more bounce is helpful. You can increase the bounce by opening the club face but make sure you take your grip after you open the face. This increased bounce will ensure you take a shallow cut of sand and splash the ball out onto the green.

Another common problem is having the ball in the wrong position. Most golfers know that they are meant to hit the sand before the ball with a bunker shot and because the sand impact point needs to be behind the ball the ball needs to be moved towards the lead foot when playing this shot. This will help ensure the sand wedge will hit the sand behind the ball, slide underneath the ball and splash sand and the ball out onto the green.

To improve your bunker play, make sure the club face is open, the ball is forward in your stance, you hit the sand behind the ball and slide the sand wedge under the ball. This technique, combined with good quality practice will see you getting out of the bunker first time every time.