How to Escape From a Buried Lie

By Tommy Dee

It's a shot that scares the daylights out of golfers. Some players refer to it as the "buried lie," while others call it "the fried egg." Call it whatever you want, players know it might be the most intimidating shot in the game. Not anymore. Below, you will see that leading in with the heel of the club and rotating the toe is the key to getting out of this tough situation.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
Step 1
For the standard flat, buried lie in the bunker, take your normal stance with your most lofted club and grip the club somewhat loosely. Open it as much as you can so the club's heel is pointed at the ball.
Step 2
The swing starts with lifting the club straight in the air so your wrists are set at a very steep angle. You'll know you've set them right if the butt end of the club is pointed at the ground very early in the backswing.
Step 3
On the downswing, it's essential you maintain that angle, allowing for the club to enter the sand the normal 2 inches behind the ball. This angle will allow the club to enter the sand at a slightly deeper point, which is critical because the ball is below the surface.
Step 4
As you enter the sand with the club-head speed of a full shot, try to leave the club in the sand by stopping your follow-through.
Step 5
Because the club head is moving at full speed, it will be difficult to cut off your follow-through completely. But your light grip pressure will allow the toe of the club to slightly close and thus rotate, which will result in the ball being rescued out of the bunker.

Tips & Warnings

If you notice you are hitting "skull" shots that don't leave the bunker, check to make sure you are creating enough angle on the backswing and maintaining it as long as possible before contact. The skull shot means you are hitting the ball first and not getting underneath it. Manage expectations as well. PGA Tour players don't usually get buried lies up-and- down, but they get out on the first attempt, which saves them 2 to 3 shots. Be happy with getting it anywhere on the green on the first try.
If you notice you are hitting "skull" shots that don't leave the bunker, check to make sure you are creating enough angle on the backswing and maintaining it as long as possible before contact. The skull shot means you are hitting the ball first and not getting underneath it.
Manage expectations as well. PGA Tour players don't usually get buried lies up-and- down, but they get out on the first attempt, which saves them 2 to 3 shots. Be happy with getting it anywhere on the green on the first try.

About The Author

Tommy Dee was the associate editor for "GOLF Magazine's" custom publishing department for three years and was project manager for Golf.com radio.

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