This Article is About
fairway bunkers
fairway bunker
back swing
quiet don
golf shots
golf balls
full swing
target
magnetism
first contact
predator
Golf Trouble Shots: Conquering Those Pesky Fairway Bunkers
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It happens to us all on occasion. No one is exempt from this predator of the golf course. No matter the course these pesky villains lurk about waiting gobble up a wayward golf shots as soon as they come near. They seem to have a special magnetism that affects golf balls.

We're talking today about fairway bunkers. Ever had them devour your ball? So many of us struggle with escaping fairway bunkers and advancing the ball safely toward the green. Maybe even reaching it.

It is possible to do all that you know. Below are some tips on handling the typical fairway bunker shot. By typical we mean the ball has rolled into the middle area of the bunker and not close to the lip. We'll cover those lies near the lip in a later post.

  • Take a normal set up, then wiggle your feet into the sand a bit.
  • Move the ball back in your stance
  • Take more club
  • Keep the lower body quiet
  • Don't take a full swing

You'll need more club than normal for this shot. The shortened back swing along with the sand will prevent you from being able to get the normal distance for that club. Make your club selection as if you were on the fairway and add a club or two for your chosen target.

Set up to the ball normally with the ball further back in your stance to be sure to make ball first contact. Grip down a bit on the club and wiggle your feet into the sand. Choking down on the grip will serve to adjust for your feet being below the ball while wiggling into the sand provides a stable base for your swing. Make only one of those adjustments and you'll hit it fat.

It is essential to make solid contact with the ball so the swing must be adjusted as well. Two important changes are made to the swing for fairway bunker shot.. First you'll want to shorten your backswing (slower would help to) so that it is more accurate and less likely to pull you off balance.

Second is to keep the lower body still. This is not a full weight shifting type of shot here. You want to pick the ball off the top of the sand with this shot. So it not necessary to move the lower body here. You will have a tendency to pull this shot left (for righties) so prepare for that possibility in your alignment.

While the fairway bunker shot can be a difficult one for the weekend golfer it doesn't have to be. With good course management and the tips outlined here you can escape with minimal damage to your scores. And that is what playing good golf is all about.


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