Nobody likes to see their golf ball drop into a bunker. When your ball winds up in the sand, your mind usually starts to race a little bit.
What kind of lie am I going to have?
Will I be able to get up and down to save par?
Why did I hit the ball in the bunker in the first place?
These reactions are particularly strong among amateur golfers, many of whom have not learned the proper technique to deal with sand traps. Pros, on the other hand, don’t worry too much about the sand, unless they happen to draw a bad lie. With a good lie, most pros will get up and down from greenside bunkers with great regularity.
Aside from the kind of lie you have in the sand, another complicating factor for greenside bunker shots is the lip you have to clear.
If you are in a deep bunker, or if the bunker simply has a tall face on one side, you will need to get the ball up into the air quickly in order to safely exit the trap in a single swing.
With that said, here are some tips you can use to improve your play in this situation.
Start with the Right Club
Using the right club alone is not going to get you out of a deep bunker. It will give you a chance, however.
Most of the time, you are going to want to use your sand wedge in this situation, which is probably not a surprise. Your sand wedge should have somewhere around 56* of loft, which is perfect for greenside bunker play.
However, if you find yourself behind a particularly steep lip, you may wish to use your lob wedge (if you carry one). It might be harder to get the ball all the way to the hole with a lob wedge, but at least you should be able to get out and somewhere onto the green.