Video Series

Video Transcript

I occasionally get asked by the club golf’s that I teach on a daily basis, “Pete, I’m I allowed to use a wood in a bunker?” Well you are allowed to use a wood in a bunker yes, should you use a bullet wood in a bunker? Very occasionally and probably for most golfers it’s going to be a no. You can very occasionally get a fairway wood out of a bunker, but it’s probably going to have to be the right sort of bunker, the right sort of shot and the right sort of wood.

And generally unless you are carrying quite a lofted fairway wood, its not going to be the best thing for you. Lets weigh up the options that we need to see, whether we can use the fairway wood or not. Firstly do we need to? Is the shot going to be long enough? Is it going to be worth my while taking the risk of hitting a wood from a bunker just trying to get that ball out there a long way. Lets say we got a 200 yard shot, okay so the distance might not require a fairway wood, have we got a big lip in front of us? If the lip is quite high, the angle of the ball needs to rise up, are quite steep. Then have you got a wood that’s got enough loft on it?

If you look at that slope and you know it is a 20 degree slope but I want to go to 15 degree three wood, clearly that’s not going to work. You are going to hit the top of that lip – it’s going to stay in the bunker. If you got a 21 degree seven wood, then that’s pretty close, but it’s still very risky. So you’re better of playing this when you are in a big wide open bunker with very little lip on the front edge, clearly playing a shot this way is definitely not going to work, I’ve never cleared that lip with a fairway wood, but if I was playing down the bunker, here its a lot wider, I’ve got a very gradual incline at the end, I could probably just squeeze this one out.

The next thing that I’m going to look for is a decent lie, If the ball is sitting quite well – particularly if the ball is sitting up on a little fluffy bit of sand, then again that might be playable.

Now the way I would play this shot, I would actually take the ball quite near to my front of my stance, play the ball near to my left side in the hope that when I hit this, I’m actually helping the ball come up a little bit. I cant actually hit the ground first, I definitely wouldn’t want to hit the ground first like a normal bunk shot that would come out too heavy, too fat it would stay in the bunker, but I’m trying to play this ball very cleanly, just brush the surface of the sand as I pick the ball up cleanly.

So I play the ball forward for an added bit of extra height, sweep the club away low and then try and take the ball nicely and cleanly off the surface. One of the thing with this is that if I’m going to use this club which a lot of people deem as a sensible club to use, but if I’ve decided that I want to use it, go a head and commit to it. Don’t hold back and try to steer it out generally, you’ve taken this club, choose it, hit it nice with commitment, there is no way you will get the ball up high enough and far enough without really committing to hitting the shot.

So weigh up the options; is the lie good enough? Do I need to hit it? And is it far enough? And is there a lip on the front of the bunker? And if you answer that yes it’s okay to use a fairway wood from all of this clubs – all of this different situations, choose your most lofted fairway wood, be nice and committed and try and get this ball back out on a long way down the fairway.