How to Hit Out of Fairway Bunkers in Golf

By Brent Franklin

How to Hit Out of Fairway Bunkers in Golf

Use an Extra Club to Compensate for Poor Footing in Fairway Bunker Shots 

Hi, I am Brent Franklin with the Mike McGetrick Golf Academy here in Denver, Colorado. What I want to talk to you about is fairway bunker shots. The main thing to remember when you have a fairway bunker shot is that your footing is not going to be that good. You don't take an extra club because it is going to fly off the face differently, you take an extra club because you want to swing a little easier because your feet are not going to be as stable. That is the reason for the extra club.

  • What you want to do is get in here and check the depth of the sand when you are walking in, you can feel it with your feet to determine how deep or thin it is and that will help you determine what to do to hit the shot.
  • Once you determine the type of sand, just a touch wider stance than normal, not much, just a tiny bit.
  • Ball position is going to be pretty much in the same spot but you do want to anchor your feet just slightly. I don't when people sit there and dig their feet in and all that does is lower their level down into the sand and when they hit their shot they wonder why they hit it so fat, well they forgot to adjust with their grip.
  • What I like you to do is just get in there, kind of get some stable footing, it does not mean dig your feet in a lot, but get a little more stable footing before you hit the shot so you won't spin around a whole lot when you do hit it. In here I am just kind of working my feet in just a little bit, I am not doing it very much, just enough to make sure that I don't slip when I make a forceful swing.
  • The last thing you do, you never want to hit it full, you want to hit it about three quarters just in case you happen to slip. It just helps you stay a little more balanced throughout the shot.

Get Footing But Do Not Dig Too Deep Into the Sand

Get your footing where it is not moving too much and then try to keep the speed about three quarters for this shot. You notice that my feet did not slip very much there, that is exactly what we are looking for. We didn't sit there and dig in and do anything crazy. Like I said, if you do that you have to adjust how far down on the club you grip. Walk in, get a footing, take one extra club, swing a little bit easier after you get your feet positioned in the sand so you don't slip. Try that the next time you are in a fairway bunker.


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