Top 100 Teacher explains how to escape a fried-egg lie with ease

golf ball in fried egg lie

Drawing a fried-egg lie can seem like an impossible situation, but it doesn't have to.

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For the average recreational golfer, bunker shots are far from simple. Add in a gnarly lie and you can kiss saving par goodbye; and there’s no nastier lie than the dreaded fried egg.

Fried eggs happen when your ball plugs in the sand upon landing, burying itself in its divot in the process. Just the top crown of the ball is visible, with a beautiful ring of sand surrounding it, giving it the look of a fried egg in a pan. But while the name has tasty origins, hitting the shot isn’t very appetizing.

With the right technique though, you can escape a fried-egg lie, and even put a little spin on the ball. And in a recent video, GOLF Top 100 Teacher Jonathan Yarwood demonstrated that technique, which he learned from the great Seve Ballesteros.

“There’s an element of luck in it,” Yarwood says. “But there’s also some skilled involved in it as well.”

Start by taking your stance in the bunker and digging your feet into the sand for stability, and then open the face of your club like you would on a normal bunker shot. Next, you want to line up with the heel of the club directly behind the ball.

“The key is getting your left shoulder really low,” Yarwood says. “Get the left shoulder as low as you can.”

Now, make a backswing and hinge your wrists aggressively to the top, and then hit as hard as you can into the sand behind the ball, all while keeping your left shoulder low all the way through impact. If you’ve done everything correctly, the ball should come out with a little spin and optimal control to keep the ball close to the hole.

“It’s a great little shot,” Yarwood says. “It’s worked like a charm in quite a few tournaments, that. And it’s gonna work for you.”


Zephyr Melton Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf. He can be reached at