What is the Best Way to Escape a Bunker with a High Lip?

Golf can be a challenging sport, and one of the most feared shots for many players is escaping a bunker with a high lip. This situation requires careful technique and strategy to successfully get out of the sand and back onto the fairway. In this article, we will discuss some tips and tricks that can help you navigate your way out of a bunker with a high lip.

  • Assess the Situation: Before attempting the shot, take a moment to carefully assess the situation and determine the best approach. Evaluate the height and steepness of the bunker lip, as well as the distance between your ball and the pin.
  • Club Selection: Choosing the right club is crucial when dealing with a high-lip bunker shot. Typically, a sand wedge or lob wedge is the recommended choice due to their higher loft which helps to get the ball up quickly and clear the lip.
  • Open Your Stance: To create a steeper swing path that allows the club to enter the sand behind the ball, open your stance slightly. Position your front foot slightly back and your back foot slightly towards the target.
  • Play the Ball Forward: Placing the ball forward in your stance, towards your front foot, helps ensure that you strike the sand first rather than trying to hit the ball directly. This technique maximizes the loft of the club and allows the sand to carry the ball up and over the lip.
  • Take a Full Swing: Unlike shorter bunker shots, escaping a high-lip bunker requires a more aggressive swing. Take a full swing, accelerating through the sand at impact, to ensure that you generate enough power to clear the lip.
  • Follow Through: A proper follow-through is essential in bunker shots. Make sure to extend your arms fully and maintain a consistent swing path. This will help generate enough speed and lift to get the ball airborne and out of the bunker.
  • Anticipate Extra Distance: When escaping a bunker with a high lip, it's important to anticipate that the ball may not travel as far as you expect due to the lip's obstruction. Adjust your aim and club selection accordingly to ensure you clear the lip and reach your target.
  • Practice, Practice, Practice: Achieving consistency in bunker shots requires practice. Take the time to work on your technique and experiment with different techniques to find what works best for you. Practice different bunker lip heights to gain confidence in escaping challenging bunkers.

Remember, escaping a bunker with a high lip can be a daunting task, but with the right technique and practice, you can increase your chances of success. Take the time to assess the situation, choose the right club, open your stance, and play the ball forward. Then, take a full swing with a proper follow-through, and anticipate extra distance due to the high lip. Lastly, remember to practice regularly to refine your technique and gain confidence in escaping challenging bunkers.