Ian Poulter Fairway Bunker Lesson
Your hybrid, because of the high flight it offers, is a great option from fairway bunkers. Here’s how to find a solid base for a smooth swing and a clean strike.
You need to start by judging the severity of the lip. It is very easy to catch the top of the lip and the ball can either come back towards you or find its way into trouble, either way, you need to get a picture in your mind for whether your hybrid can fly high enough to carry the lip. For the shot itself, the most important thing is to hit the ball very cleanly. For that, you need to set a stable base for the swing. When you are fully loaded at the top of the backswing, transitioning into the downswing, you are forcing a lot of pressure through the ground and it can be easy to slip and to lose your footing. So to help, set your feet just wider than shoulder width apart and shuffle your them into the sand. With my 23˚ hybrid, I’m setting the ball forward in my stance – just inside the left heel.
The main change with this shot over the basic hybrid version is the angle of attack. I’m looking to hit slightly more down on the ball. This is because I need to guard against taking any sand before the ball.
The final point to consider is how hard you swing in this scenario. As the shaft of the club is obviously longer than a mid or short iron you will naturally generate more clubhead speed, that’s good. But more speed can cause instability in sand so as I previously said, shuffle your feet in at address and then avoid trying to hit the ball too hard. A smooth rhythm, good balance and a crisp contact will get you up towards the green.