Fix Your Form to Hit out of Fairway Bunkers

By Mike McGetrick

To be successful out of a fairway bunker you need to make set up adjustments and swing adjustments. What you are trying to do is hit the ball first with very little sand, a little different than you do in a greenside bunker.

4 Set-Up Changes to Hit Out of a Fairway Bunker

The set up changes are:

  1. You usually need one or two clubs more to hit it the same distance, so if you hit a 7-iron 150 yards you might adjust to a 6-iron to get the same distance
  2. You want to grip down on the golf club one inch to give you a little shorter club so you do not hit the sand
  3. You want to move the ball to the center of your stance so that you catch the ball first
  4. You want to lightly tap both feet down to get solid in the base of your feet.

Adjust Your Backswing

In your swing, on the backswing, you want to make a three-quarter backswing for a little more control, and then on the forward-swing the arms and body start together into a full finish. The key to the forward-swing is a gradual acceleration with the club, so that when you start down, it is a gradual acceleration instead of a violent acceleration.

Stance Adjustments for a Fairway Bunker Shot

So what I am going to do is grip down on the club one inch, ball in the center of my stance, lightly tap on my feet down, three-quarter backswing, arms and body together on the forward-swing with a smooth transition. What I always tell players in a fairway bunker is to try to think you are hitting off a cart path and picking the ball very clean off of there. Try these changes with your setup and with your swing, and it will make a tremendous difference in your shots.


Category: Bunker Play

About the Instructor

Mike McGetrick
Mike McGetrick
McGetrick Golf Academy
4900 Himalaya Road, Building Q
Denver, CO 80249
Tel: 303-799-0870