You can get yourself in a real mess if you don’t understand the fundamentals of fairway bunker play. Here’s what you need to do:
Always take enough loft in order to clear the front lip. Escaping at the first attempt is your No.1 priority.
You need a stable base to your swing, so shuffle your feet into the sand so that you don’t lose your footing mid-swing.
The consequences of even a slight miss-hit are exaggerated in the sand, so the emphasis is on making a clean strike. Choke down on the grip an inch or so, as that helps prevent you catching the shot heavy. Also take one more club, as that enables you to make a more controlled, three-quarter swing which again helps optimise the strike. If you execute the shot correctly, you’ll get plenty of backspin, so be bold and pitch the ball up to the flag.
If the ball is sitting down a little in the sand, you’ll have to play more of a running shot. I recommend taking maybe as much as two more clubs – for instance, a 7-iron instead of a 9-iron. Put the ball a little further back in your stance, make a shorter swing and strike down and through.
Tip provided by Ernieels.com
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