Hi Kathi. Thanks for writing MyGolfInstructor.com.
I'd love to help you with your bunker play. The first and most important thing to consider here is that you MUST take sand. You need to get comfortable with making a nice splash and throwing sand out of the bunker on every bunker shot you hit. Hitting an inch or two behind the ball is all that is required.
I tell all of my students to be aggressive and make sure they are constantly accelerating up into the finish. One of the biggest mistakes I see in lessons is students decelerating into the ball. If you do this the shot is dead and it either won't come out as you dump the club in the sand, or the club will flip past your hands and you will blade it into the lip or over the green.
Have the confidence that if you swing hard and keep accelerating as long as you take some sand you won't fly over the green. The sand is there to deaden the hit so you won't fly it too far. Remember it's the sand that pushes the ball out, not your clubhead. Your club never comes in contact with the ball.
I hope this helps and please also check out the Bunkers Category under the Golf Instruction tab at the top of your screen. There are numerous articles and drills there to help you overcome any problems with greenside and fairway bunkers.
Let me know how it goes and if you have any other questions.
By: Maria Palozola