Fairway bunker shots are regarded as some of the more difficult in the game. Adding distance, a high lip and a difficult lie and the task is almost impossible. There are several myths when it comes to fairway bunker shots, and I hope to dispel some of those this week. Golfers, must keep in mind, when facing a bad lie (bad lie is defined as when there is question about the lie), the first objective is to advance the ball to a good lie. Second objective, never attempt a miracle shot after a poor one. Finally, never attempt a shot that you have not practiced. Keeping these objectives in mind, fairway bunker shots will become an easier task.
When faced with a fairway bunker shot, preparation is the most important element.
Keys for the set-up:
1. Club choice- take enough loft to clear the lip. Golfer’s should never hear “ball-thump.” As a reference 1 more club should be utilized. High lofted fairway woods are an excellent club of choice, assuming limited loft is need.
2. Position the golf ball back in your stance. Your impact objective is a steeper angle of approach, striking the ball first and sand after. The rearward ball position will assist in steepening the angle.
3. Gripping down on the club. Shorten the club about an inch. The shortened club will reduce the chance of striking the sand prior the ball.
4. Dig your feet into the sand about an inch. The lowering of your feet will reduce the amount of lower body motion during the swing. Excessive amount of lower body slide will result in an incorrect bottom of the swing.
5. Lean your body weight towards the target. As you lean your weight allow the grip end to move towards the target. The weight and the hand adjustment will move your swing bottom towards the target, resulting in a steeper angle of approach.
The adjustments in your set-up will steeper the angle resulting in ball/sand contact.
Checkpoints during the motion:
1. Make a balanced swing. Holding your finish until the ball comes to a rest guarantees success. Inability to hold the finish is an indication of an out of balance motion.
2. Allow the upper body to wind against the lower body on the backswing. The lower body must resist and hold. The coil generated is a power source. If the lower body does not hold, the swing bottom will occur behind the ball, resulting in sand and ball contact.
3. Maintain swing posture throughout the motion. Turn the upper body on the backswing and clear the lower body on the forward side. Golfers must maintain their measurement and posture throughout the motion. A conscious attempt to lift the ball will result in a shallow angle.
Golf is a unique game, due to the fact; they never face the same shot twice. Consistency is the result of developing a repeating swing motion. Pre swing adjustments are utilized when faced with different lies. Golfers should 1 swing with different set-ups. Perfect your swing, make a few simple address adjustments and the fairway bunker shot will be a simple one.