The keys to escaping those pesky fairway bunkers

golf ball sits in sand bunker on golf course

A lie in a fairway bunker doesn't need to scare you.

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Hitting a successful fairway bunker shot boils down to solid contact. The following will help.

First, choose a club with enough loft to carry the lip in front of you. Next, dig your feet into the sand and — important! — choke down on the grip a corresponding amount. Swing back just as you would on any iron shot, focusing on balance.

Sand flies up as a golf ball in a bunker is struck by a wedge in front of a black background
10 tips to help you master long greenside bunker shots
By: Kellie Stenzel, Top 100 Teacher

Overswinging in a fairway bunker can lead to disaster. The real key, however, is to make sure your swing bottoms out after the ball, so you take but a modicum of sand. Do this by shifting pressure to your front leg early in your downswing. As you near the strike zone, push up through your front leg while rotating your trail knee toward the front one and keep your chest moving. This combination of moves automatically positions the low point of your swing in front of the ball for the crisp contact you’re looking for.

Devan Bonebrake is the owner/operator of Southern California Golf Academy and host of The Golf Fix on GOLFPASS.

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