My name is Jason Carbone, I am one of the Lead Instructors here at the Jim McLean Golf School. We are here on the tenth hole at the Blue Monster at Doral and the Blue Monster happens to be noted for its difficult fairway bunkers. We are going to go through a few key points to remember to help you escape these difficult hazards.
2 Tips to Hit Out of Fairway Bunkers
The first thing I want to do is get my yardage. I have a 160 yard shot that I am going to be playing here which would normally be a 7-iron. I am actually going to drop down one club and grab a 6-iron. This allows me to do two things. One, it will allow me to dig my feet into the sand slightly for better footing. As I do that I can now grip down on the golf club about half an inch. Shortening the golf club will make the shot go a little shorter and that is why we need the extra golf club, so I have a 6-iron now.
Look Over the Bunker Lip
The second thing is that once I take the golf club I need to look at what is in front of me. I need to look at the lip and see how high it is. Right now I feel that I can clear this with a 6-iron, if I did not I would have to start going down to a 7-iron, an 8-iron, even a 9-iron and sometimes just lay up a little short of the green, pitch on and work from there.
If you feel you can get over the lip, once you have gripped down, dug your feet in, the last thing we need to do is make sure we stand up very tall with our chest. This allows me to extend my arms to their full length so that I can not reach the sand. The one cardinal rule in the fairway bunker is that we have to hit the ball first. By gripping down, standing very tall with my chest and letting my arms be at full length, I can make my normal golf swing, catch the golf ball first and hit a solid shot.