Fairway Bunker Technique

Try these tips from fairway bunkers if you often struggle to make the crisp contact required and you sometimes lost your footing as you swing.

Many golfers have a fear of fairway bunker shots and often content themselves with merely getting the ball back out, rather than recovering well and retaining full distance.

When there’s nothing to stop you playing a full shot (such as a steep bunker face or a poor lie), four key set-up and swing adjustments will make all the difference.

Firstly, don’t dig in with your feet as much as you would for a greenside splash shot, as this will set you too low, meaning you’ll typically take too much sand at impact.

Then, because sand is a less stable surface than fairway turf, swing more smoothly, well within yourself rather than flat out.

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Consequently, you’ll need to take a club more than you would for a full fairway shot from the same distance.

Finally, grip down the club an inch or two to encourage a more controlled swing. Remember these four key essentials, and normal fairway bunker shots will hold less fear for you.

Top tips

  • Dont dig your feet into the sand as much as you would for a greenside splash shot.
  • This will set you too low, making it much easier to hit the shot fat.
  • Since the sand offers a less stable surface than usual fairway turf, swing smoothly and within yourself to help keep your footing and your balance.
  • Take more club than you would do from the same yardage in the fairway.
  • Grip down the club an inch or two, in order to promote a more controlled swing.
  • Aim to pick the ball off the top of the sand, focusing on making ball first contact.
  • The margins in fairway bunkers are small. Hit just a little too much sand first, and your ball will come up way short of the intended target.