Fairway bunkers are one of the most challenging obstacles that golfers can face, as we try to balance between escaping from the hazard and advancing the ball the appropriate distance while avoiding punishment, often leading to poor choices and contact issues.
A ball first contact is our priority but must be accompanied by appropriate club choice to ensure our greed doesn’t cause the ball to stay in the bunker.
Create a solid foundation
Stance - Ensure you stand more on top of the sand while having stability.
Grip down - to control the arc's strike and depth, aiding a ball first contact. We must ensure great depth control with the low point within a fairway bunker. If we tend to get the depth too low, we are more likely to fat shots, and lose distance, or fail to get the ball out.
Maintain height – I like to feel like I stay tall within the fairway bunker to help improve depth control.
Stay on top of the ball – It’s important that you don`t sway off the ball, as this will contribute to the low point becoming too early causing a heavy strike. Try feeling like your pressure stays a little more towards the target (in your lead foot), and your head stays over the ball.
Take more club – this will allow you to swing smoothly, helping your balance and strike. The ball can tend to spin more, due to friction, so tends to travel less distance than playing from the turf. Ensure the club you choose has enough loft to escape from the bunker though.
Drill – Place 2 tee pegs 12 inches apart (on your target line). Push the tees into the sand at a height you would hit an iron off, then place another tee peg directly between the 2 pegs and work on clipping the head of the tee peg without touching the two outside ones. Once you feel more comfortable with this, replace the middle tee peg with a ball.
Imagine you were hitting from a sheet of ice or glass, and you just wanted the sole of the club to shave the surface but not smash it.
Still need help?
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