2008-02-29 / Sports

The Fairway Bunker Shot

Golf Instruction
By Joel Garyn

(Garyn is a USGFT golf Professional. You can contact him for lessons at 347-404-3751)

The Fairway Bunker Shot

These are usually strategically placed where a nice, long tee shot might land. These fairway bunkers are different from their cousins near the green in several ways.

First, they are quite far from the green, often as much as 200 yards.

Second, they are usually larger and longer than the typical greenside bunker.

Third, the sand in them is usually a bit firmer underfoot. And finally, they usually have a lower lip than a greenside bunker.

Play this shot if your ball lies atop firm sand in a low-lipped fairway bunker.

You choice of club will depend on the distance to the target and the amount of loft needed to clear the lip of the bunker.

Aim to hit the ball off the sand cleanly and, unlike the splash and explosion shots, strike the ball rather than the sand to have a chance of reaching the green in one shot.

1. Set-Up; Take a wide stance with your body parallel to the target line. Play the ball farther back to the rear foot than usual.

2. Backswing; Move the club, arms and shoulders back on a onepiece takeaway movement.

3. At the Top; Make a full-shoulder turn keeping the club parallel to the target line.

4. Forward Swing; Swing smoothly with little leg movement, and keep your eye on the ball.

5. Impact; Accelerate through impact and make clean, crisp contact with the ball.

6. Follow-Through; Bring the club up to a controlled and perfectly balanced finish.

Conclusion: Fairway bunker shots needn't be difficult. Just be sure to make contact with the ball before hitting the sand.

Next week we will discuss greenside bunkers. A survey was done by Golf Magazine asking all levels of golfers what shot in golf gives them the most trouble (mechanically and emotional).

The magazine said 55% of their responses said getting up and down from a greenside bunker gave them the most trouble. We will spend a few weeks in this area, discussing different lies. (buried, uphill, downhill, and some rules regarding what you can and cannot do in a bunker).

If you have any questions, please e-mail me at itchgolf@aol.com or call.

Have a safe week and take care.

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