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:
- 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
- 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
- You want to move the ball to the center of your stance so that you catch the ball first
- 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.