These tips will help you if you automatically reach for a lay-up club when you find a fairway bunker from the tee or if you do go for it, you tend to hit it fat or thin.

Often from a fairway bunker the wisest option is to take your medicine, make sure you get it out, then move on.

But if your ball is lying well and the bunker has little or no lip in the direction of play, a bolder fairway wood bunker shot approach can actually be a very sensible option, with just a couple of minor tweaks to your usual fairway wood set-up.

Hold down the grip a little more – a couple of inches or so – to promote a nice shallow path through the ball and help you pick it off a clean as a whistle.

Put the ball a ball’s width further forward in your stance, again to promote a clean strike and discourage any thoughts of hitting down into the sand.

And finally, make a nice balanced three-quarter swing to counter any tendencies to have a real thrash at it potentially just driving the ball down into the sand, or leaning back through impact in the mistaken belief it will help you get the ball up and away.

Key tips

  • Hitting a fairway wood successfully from sand only requires a couple of small tweaks to your usual fairway wood set up.
  • Choke down the grip a little bit, a couple of inches or so, in order to encourage a sweeping shallow path through the ball.
  • This will help you pick the ball off the surface without disturbing too much sand beneath the ball.
  • Position the ball a ball’s width further forward in your stance to again promote a clean strike and reduce the tendency to hit down into the sand.