Escape From Fairway Bunkers

By: Max Johnson

To many amateur golfers, fairway bunkers are the most difficult challenges on a golf course. Relax, there is no reason fairway bunkers should ever become a disaster for you. Here is how to do it.

We need to simplify the process. Opposed to popular belief there is not a magic swing that is needed for a fairway bunker shot. Your first piece of business will be to get the golf ball out of the fairway bunker with out question. Catching the lip of the fairway bunker or hitting behind the golf ball, better known as "fat" are the only two ways this could happen.

If your golf ball is partially buried or in a fried egg lie, get your golf ball back to the fairway even if this means going sideways. Assuming your lie is clean, the first mistake is typically due to a lack of execution. It is imperative that the golf ball is struck before striking the sand. If you make a mistake in a fairway sand trap, the tendency needs to be hitting more of a thin golf shot or a shot lower on the clubface.

The second most common mistake from a fairway sand trap is because the player does not use the proper golf club to get over the lip of the fairway bunker. This is a BIG no-no, particularly if you are not playing all the way to the putting green. Hitting a golf shot, which remains in the bunker, is what will start the process of making a big number on that hole.

Check your lie as you enter the bunker. You can stay pretty aggressive if your golf ball does not have any sand behind the golf ball. Assuming you do not have to clear a high lip, you can use a long iron or even a wood while trying to play a long par four or a par five.

It takes simplifying the process to be able to hit a green in regulation from a fairway bunker. The target must be accessible. Many of the new golf course architects are using more and more bunkers and hazards around the putting surface to intimidate players. If you are attempting a golf shot to a guarded green, you must be able to have good contact with the back of the golf ball.

This will allow the golf ball to get up in the air to avoid the hazards guarding the green. Be aware of your current skills. If you are a mid to high handicapper, realistically this will be difficult for you to pull off. Understanding that, choose the proper place you want to play your next shot.

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