Safe Fairway Bunker Shots

bunker Nov 27, 2021

In my experience, fairway bunker shots can be a card wrecker.

It is alluring to think that we can just hit a normal full swing with visions of Sandy Lyle's famous shot to win the US Masters.

More often than not this has led to me choosing too much club (not enough loft) and thinning the ball into the face of the bunker for it bounce back at me for another try.

 An Alternative Approach

Shot Planning

Choose plenty of loft to allow for a lower launching shot to clear the front lip of the trap.


I have historically been of the impression that the golf ball should be taken very cleanly off the top of the sand but I always thin the shot when I try this. (Maybe it just needs refining but whoever practises fairway bunker shots).

As I say in the video, I have found that the safest approach is to commit to my normal full swing process of getting the bottom of the swing arc past the ball and strike the ball with some amount of shaft lean. This is going to launch the ball relatively low but it does give me the best chance of a solid contact. I would just make sure that I have plenty of loft in my hand to clear the lip of the bunker.

I don't think that this is the 'optimal' technique but until I put enough time in to master a cleaner strike it has served me well to get a solid strike and distance from the sand. 


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