How to Play a Bunker Shot with a Plugged Lie Near the Face

One of the most challenging shots in golf is when you find yourself in a bunker with a plugged lie near the face. This situation requires a slightly different technique to get the ball out and onto the green. Here are some tips to successfully play this tricky bunker shot:

  • Assess the Lie: First and foremost, examine the lie of the ball in the bunker. Is it fully plugged or partially buried? Take note of how deep it is and how much sand is covering the ball.
  • Position Yourself: Set up with an open stance, aiming slightly left of your target (if you are right-handed). This will allow you to approach the shot from a steeper angle and help to dig the ball out more effectively.
  • Take a Strong Grip: Grip the club firmly, placing your hands slightly ahead of the ball. This will help ensure you strike the sand first and prevent the club from digging too deeply into the bunker.
  • Open the Clubface: Open the clubface slightly by rotating it to the right (for right-handed golfers). This will increase the bounce of the club and prevent it from digging too much into the sand.
  • Swing with a Steep Angle: When executing the shot, aim to take a steep swing by focusing on a steeper swing path and a more vertical angle of attack. This will help you scoop the ball out of the plugged lie and onto the green.
  • Dig into the Sand: As you swing, focus on digging the clubhead into the sand behind the ball. Aim to hit the sand around 2 inches behind the ball and let the sand carry the ball out of the bunker.
  • Follow Through: Complete your swing with a full follow-through. Maintain a smooth and fluid motion, ensuring that the clubhead reaches a high point after striking the sand. This will help generate enough power to extricate the ball from the plugged lie.
  • Assess the Results: Once you have played the shot, carefully observe the result. Did the ball come out cleanly? Did it go the desired distance? Use this feedback to adjust your technique for future shots.

Playing a bunker shot with a plugged lie near the face requires a combination of proper technique and confidence. By assessing the lie, positioning yourself correctly, and focusing on a steep swing path, you can improve your chances of successfully getting the ball out of the bunker and onto the green.

Remember, practicing this shot is crucial to gaining confidence and proficiency. Spend time at the practice bunker to get a feel for how the club interacts with the sand and experiment with different techniques until you find what works best for you.

With patience and practice, you'll be able to handle plugged lies near the face with more ease, giving yourself a better chance to save strokes and improve your overall performance on the golf course.