Practice Your Fairway Bunker Swing

Knowing that your swing shouldn’t change dramatically when in the sand, you might be tempted to think that you don’t really need to practice your fairway bunker swing techniques. After all, if the swings are so similar, can’t you just make the changes on the fly and give it your best shot? Not really. Everything in golf requires practice, and that certainly applies here. If you are able to practice your fairway bunker swing, you can expect better results when put to the test during an actual round.

There’s one problem here, however – many golf courses don’t actually have a fairway bunker for you to use near the practice range. Some do, of course, but there is a good chance your local practice facility doesn’t have such an amenity. So, how do you practice your fairway bunker shots when there isn’t a bunker anywhere near the range? Simple – you just pretend. Even without the sand, you can still work on the technique that you will use when actually in a fairway bunker.

During an upcoming practice session, set aside a few balls to use as fairway bunker practice. You will still be hitting from the grass, but that’s okay. Use the tips offered in the previous section to slightly adjust your swing technique to optimize it for bunker play. As you hit these shots, work on keeping your feet quiet, just as you should do when actually hitting from sand. Also, pay particular attention to making clean contact, realizing that any fat shots would likely be punished more harshly in the sand than they are on the grass range.

When practicing on a grass range, one of the best ways to measure success during this ‘pretend’ sand drill is to watch your divots. Or, more accurately, to watch for the lack of a divot. Ideally, you will be picking the ball cleanly off the top of the grass, while barely disturbing the turf underneath. If you can pick the ball clean with most of your swings, you can feel confident that those swings will translate nicely to a fairway bunker situation.

Of course, if you do have access to a bunker where you can hit full shots down the range, that would be the ideal situation. Be sure to take advantage when this situation presents itself by hitting at least a few shots. Try a couple of different clubs from the practice fairway bunker, and give yourself a few different types of lies. These practice opportunities are highly valuable, as some repetition in practice from a fairway-style bunker will greatly boost your confidence when you run into this situation in an upcoming round.

There are very few secrets in terms of what you have to do to improve at golf. You have to practice. It really is that simple. Is it easy? Of course not. You can practice hard and not see much in the way of results for long periods of time. This will be frustrating, but you have to see it through until the results start to show themselves on the course. Golf is a hard game, and any improvements you make are going to be well-earned. This makes those great rounds all the more satisfying, as you will be able to look back with pride on the hard work that went into your building your skills.