Fairway Bunker Shot, How Can I Choose The Right Club Video
Now club selection in a green side bunker; that’s pretty simple for most people, we normally take our sand wedge very extreme situation up against the lip, we might take a lob wedge. But how do we choose the right club when we’re in a fairway bunker shot? Now the issue with fairway bunkers is the distance we have to the flag changes massively. It might be 250 yards, it might be 50 yards. So clearly that brings in its own implications when we look at club selection. We could also look at the shape and size of a fairway bunker. When you go to Scotland and play in the -- on the links courses up there, you’ll find the fairway bunkers look pretty similar to green side bunkers – very steep sided, riveted, pop bunker styles. You go to maybe the States or Spain, Portugal, play some of the fairway bunkers there, a lot bigger or a lot flatter, almost like in playing out the back of this bunker that I’m in here. So club selection becomes very important to us.
The key to choosing the right club is definitely to make sure you get this ball out. The worst case scenario is leaving the ball in the bunker. You know, great big swing, loads of club head speed, loads of ball speed, the ball hits there, rolls back into bunker, and you get really frustrated. Problem was, you probably chose the wrong club that didn’t have enough loft on it. So we need to make sure we’ve got enough loft on the club. Now the easiest way to check if you got the right loft is actually to hold the clubface, horizontal to the ground. And the angle that the club shaft points at is going to be the angle that the ball could fly at.
So if I’m looking over that lip there, and I hold the angle of my wedge here, that -- the angle of the shaft there, is going to clear the top of that bunker. That’s going to be an appropriate club. If I stood here with something like a three iron, and held the face flat to the floor, it would have nowhere near enough loft to clear the edge of the bunker there. So one of the considerations is lay that flat, look at that angle make sure it clears, and make sure it clears by more than a bit. You know if it’s looking like oh, I just might shave the leaves off the grass. Add a club or a two club’s on. So when you’re setting up to the golf ball there, there’s no doubt in your mind that you’ve got enough club to clear the face of the bunker. The last thing we want you to be doing, is doubting the fact this five iron is going to clear the lip and then leaning back at the last minute to try and scoop it over the lip. The problem with that is you hit the ground before the ball, you take off all the power, and the fact you were being greedy to use a five iron, sort of blows up in your face because you either hit the ground it doesn’t go very far, or it hits the lip and stops and comes back in. So if you stood there thinking oh it might be a five, take a seven. Add on a couple of clubs, guarantee that that ball is going to clear the lip and get out.
So, club horizontal, shaft angle is going to produce ball flight. And then make sure you’ve got enough to get over that leading edge that leading lip. And then nice and committed as you hit down, stay solid, stay forwards in the fairway bunkers, drive that ball out of the fairway bunker, as far as you can. And that’s how you can choose the best club to hit from a fairway bunker.