Golfing Magazine Online -
Conquer Your Fear of the Fairway Bunker - Claude Brousseau
Web Master
By Web Master
Published on 11/23/2007

Conquer your fear of fairway bunker

Playing a fairway bunker can be nerve racking if you don’t use the proper technique. However, if you have the know-how, this shot can become your friend. You may even decide you would rather be in a fairway bunker instead of the thick rough. In a fairway bunker you want to contact the ball first.

Here is the system I recommend;

First, evaluate the height of the lip. This will help you make the correct club selection. Your first objective is to get out! The higher the lip, the more loft you will need on the club. If the lip is too high, be smart! Avoid the temptation to pull out the heroic shot. Punch the ball out toward the lowest part of the lip even if it means going away from the green. You will have a good lie in the fairway for the next shot.

Second, evaluate the distance of the shot. You will need more club for the distance. If you think a 7-iron select a 6. There are few reasons why you need a stronger club.

1-You will place your hand lower on the grip. This makes the club shorter and you will loose distance.

2- You will stabilize your lower body and lose some power because of it.

Now, we are ready for the set-up. You will need to aim slightly to the left because of the ball position. The ball position will be the width of two balls of center of your body toward the back foot. This will increase the probability to strike the ball first. It will also promote a left to right ball flight. You will dig your feet in the sand and pinch your knees together. This will stabilize your lower body and increase the odds of solid contact.

We are ready for the swinging motion. You should feel more of an arm swing than a body swing. You want to keep you lower body quieter than normal. Look at the top of the ball. Avoid looking at the sand as you do in a green side bunker. The bottom of the swing needs to be at the ball not in the sand. Go and trust your swing. Enjoy the result of the ball landing on the green.

In a fairway bunker, get the proper set-up and your odds of a good shot will increase dramatically.

Go and have fun! Realize your golfing potential!