Controlling distance from green side sand is a must have skill. It is actually quite simple. Players must first learn the main skill in a bunker which is learning to compress the sand out of the bunker in a desired direction. If the technique is sound, the ball will go exactly in the direction the sand goes. After that it’s all about making the sand go different distances. Ultimately the distance the sand goes is directly related to the amount of force applied to it. This may come from from many different applications such as swing size, varying follow through lengths, different clubs, etc. Again, the main skill is moving sand.
Get in that bunker without a ball and get really good at moving that sand a desired distance and direction. This skill is not hard to do. Once you learn the feel of moving sand just pretend the ball is one of those grains of sand and knock it out close to the hole!