Video Series

Video Transcript

Now if we were to imagine that we found ourselves in a fairway bunker, the rules are slightly different in a fairway bunker in terms of which club you should be playing. So we generally talk about the fact that you are in the sand, you would generally use a sand wedge but that’s not normally for a greenside bunker. Greenside bunker playing here open over this lip – I need the loft that the sand wedge would give me. I need the bounce that the sand wedge would give me. I need the control of the shot the shaft would give me also, but if I’m in a fairway bunker I can start to think slightly differently.

Now the first thing is I would think about; well how far have I got to go? How far do I like this golf ball to go? Can I reach the green or am I playing out for safety? Then also I could start to look at the height of the bunker around me – how high is the lip because I really want to make sure this ball comes out. The worse thing I could do is hit the ball straight into the lip then it rolls back down to my feet. Then I could also look at the quality of the lie. How is the ball actually sitting? So we’ve talked about the fact if it is a short shot over a high lip we use a lofted club. We use something like a sand wedge maybe a pitching wedge.

But if I look to the shot that was going down this way in the bunker and I appreciate you can see this, but there is no lip here. The lie is pretty good and I can say well I’ve got 200 yards to my flag on a big pile of five. I’ve got a big flat open bunker, no lip. So in that situation a sand wedge is going to be not good at all; it’s going to pop the ball too high too short. I could drop this all the way down to a hybrid golf club. I’ve got my Thomas golf three hybrid here and I think this is going to give me a nice mixture. That it will get the ball up in the air, it will take the ball cleanly of this lie but it would also drill the ball out a long, long way down the fairway possibly reaching close to the front of the green but certainly propelling me good sort of three quarters the way there just leaving a little wedge back onto the green. But then if I turned and looked to the short going this way back more to the camera, the camera is sitting up in a little mound here at the back of this bunker.

So if I was playing this shot down that way towards a green over there, I’m not sure this club would give me the height to get out. So I’d either use a more lofted hybrid club or alternatively switch down to a seven nine; something like that. One way you could decide on this is you could put the club face behind the back of the ball. You can look at the angle that is going to project after and think well yeah if that’s going to not clear the lip or if it’s going to get close to the top of the lip; I would always advice you take one more club than you think. So if you look at that and you think I can get a six side over that lip – your best bet is to make sure of that and take a seven. Take a seven make a nice smooth stroke, make sure the ball comes out rather than taking a six, doubting yourself a little bit, leaning back trying to scoop it and actually getting a bad contact on the ball. So when you’re in a fairway bunker it doesn’t always have to be one club, you’ve got lots of different options – way up; how far you have to go to the flag? What the quality of the lie is like? And what the bunker around you is like. Always air on the side of caution – take one more club than you think – play it nicely out as far as you can making sure you clear that lip and that’s the best way to select the club that you use in a fairway bunker.