This post started as a review of Maginnes On Tap, a new PGATour radio show with John Maginnes. While searching for the show’s web page, I found this video of Ian Poulter holing out a bunker shot for eagle on Friday at Doral. Everything about it is letter-perfect for a pre-season lesson on how to escape from bunkers, your goal for 2011.
Take a look at what Poulter does so well in preparation for the shot:

1. He digs his feet in for stability, but not so far that his soles are below the bottom of the golf ball;
2. He opens his stance, but not so angular that he slices across the ball and leaves it in the bunker (this is a fairly long bunker shot, after all);
3. He hovers the club over the ball as he shifts weight from foot to foot, finding his rhythm and groove;
4. As his hands get to shoulder height and the club shaft goes vertical, his body stays quiet. No lurching, lunging, stabbing or digging actions at all!
5. Poulter stays stable through the shot, releases his hands and follows through with body and club. There is consistent and controlled acceleration throughout the entire through swing.

And there you have it. Show this video to your teacher and say “I want that to be me.” If you’re self-taught, get a dozen balls and find a practice bunker somewhere. Hit shot after shot until you’re comfortable. Use these three guideposts as measurements to become a much better bunker player:

1. Get the ball out of the bunker;
2. Get the ball out of the bunker and keep it on the putting surface;
3. Get the ball out of the bunker for a shot at an up-and-down.