3 Tips for Playing a Fairway Bunker

By Paul Marchand

I hit a pretty good tee shot but I just hit it a little left and I am in a fairway bunker. I have a full 5-iron into the green so I am going to make a full swing out of a fairway bunker. A couple of things you need to know about the rules of golf, I can’t remove a loose impediment, I am in a hazard, and I can’t ground my club. Those are essential elements in knowing how to play out of a fairway bunker.

How to Practice Hitting Fairway Bunker Shots

This is a question that I get asked fairly often, what is the technique for hitting out of a fairway bunker? It is different than a greenside bunker, I am not going to hit the sand behind the ball, I am trying to hit all ball. The best thing that I can tell you about technique for hitting out of a fairway bunker is that having a feel for where the club is coming into the ball is something that you practice on the range.

3 Pointers for Fairway Bunker Shots

  1. You have to have confidence that you can swing along the sand not into the sand.
  2. Two things that I think about that help me do that, and I do this every time that I am in a fairway bunker, is choke down slightly and make a three-quarter swing.
  3. I am not going to make a great big swing. I am taking enough club that I can really make a well-balanced move back and through, thereby having better control about how deep I go with the clubhead.

Swing Power and Balance

I am just trying to swing right along the top of the sand and pick this ball right off. A little bit more club, a well-balanced swing, and I pick it right off the top there. We will work on the shot that got us here, but once we are in the hazard let’s make the adjustments that will allow us to make a good shot instead of letting the anxiety of being in a fairway bunker make you tight, overswing, hit the sand, bad shot. I think you can do this one.


Category: Bunker Play
Sub Categories: Fairway Shots

About the Instructor

Paul Marchand
Paul Marchand
Shadow Hawk Golf Club
12900 FM 1464
Richmond, TX 77469