Distance from a Fairway Bunker

A long way to go and in a Fairway Bunker?

You still have a long way a long way to the green, and, uh-oh you are in a fairway trap.

When playing a ball out of fairway trap there is a different technique used to hit the ball as opposed to being in a green side trap.  Both are hazards so you still can’t ground your club but in a fairway trap you do not want to splash the sand out as you normally would but rather you want to pick the ball out, not taking any sand.

When you take your stance make sure you dig your feet in deep enough to keep your balance as you are making a longer swing while being footed in loose sand.  Your body should have very little movement from the waist down, as this shot employs mostly the arms.  Be ready to concentration and focus on the ball. There is very little room for error.

Here are the 3 situations you look at when approaching your ball in a fairway bunker, and your first priority should always be to get out.

Staffordfairway-sand-1 1. The first situation to evaluate is the lie of the ball.  If the ball is sitting in an unraked footfrint but you still have some distance to the lip of the trap you may be able to pick it out with a mid iron.
Staffordfairway-sand-2 2.  The second situation to evaluate is how high the lip or is the ball up against the lip.   What club would you need to get enough loft to get over the lip, not to the green, remember your first priority is to get out.
Staffordfairway-sand-3 The third situation is that you have a good lie, no sand behind the ball and plenty of room to get over the lip.

Now you can check your yardage, get a good stance and really pick the ball.  And, even and if you hit it thin it’s OK, you still get some distance in the right direction.

I have often used a Hybrid or 5  wood out of a fairway bunkers and because I focus so hard I often make a better shot than I would off the fairway with the same club.

Remember; evaluate the situation before you select the club.

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