Need help with fairway bunker shots? Try these 4 tips from an LPGA pro

Carlota Ciganda hits from a fairway bunker during the Solheim Cup

If you need help escaping from the fairway bunker, try these four tips from Solheim Cup star Carlota Ciganda.

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A fairway bunker can be a real pain to escape. Most recreational golfers don’t get the opportunity to practice these shots enough to master them, and their performance from the sand suffers as a result.

Luckily, you don’t need to have access to a range with bunkers to figure out these tricky shots. Thanks to the video below from Callaway featuring LPGA pro Carlota Ciganda, you can learn all you need to know about fairway bunker shots.

Check out the video or read below for Ciganda’s four tips for fairway bunker shots.

1. Choose the correct club

The first key when hitting a fairway bunker shot is choosing a club that you know will clear the lip and escape the sand. The last thing you want is to leave your ball in the bunker and be facing yet another sandy shot with less room to work with.

“The first thing that I think is about getting the ball out of the bunker,” Ciganda says. “It’s really important to look at the lip and see what club you are comfortable using.”

2. Dig in

With the proper club selected, it’s time to get ready to hit the shot. When you step into the ball, you want to dig your feet into the sand, so you have a stable base to make a nice, solid swing.

3. Short backswing

On these shots from the sand, you want to take a shorter backswing than normal — roughly a 3/4 swing. This shorter backswing makes it easier to control the club and gives you a better chance of making clean contact with the ball.

4. Clean contact

Now all that’s left to do is make clean contact with the ball. Unlike with shots from the turf, you want to pick the ball cleanly and avoid hitting the sand much during your downswing. Focus on trying to make as little a divot as possible as you pick the ball out of the sand.

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