Rader Golf School
University du Quebec
a Montreal, MBA
Conquer Your Fear
of Fairway Bunkers
Professional, Dana Rader Golf School
fairway bunkers can be nerve racking if you don’t use
the proper technique. However, if you have the know-how,
this shot can become your friend. You may even decide
you’d rather be in a fairway bunker than the thick
rough. Here is the system I recommend:
evaluate the height of the lip. This will help you to
make the correct club selection. Your first objective is
to get out! The higher the lip, the more loft you will
need on the club. If the lip is too high, just punch it
out toward the lowest part of the bunker and you will
have a good lie for the next shot on the fairway.
evaluate the distance of the shot. You will need more
club for distance. If you think 7-iron, use a 6 iron.
The reason: you will have to move your hands lower on
the grip about 1/2 inch. This makes the club shorter and
you lose some distance. Go lower on the grip because you
want to make sure you will strike the ball first, not
the sand. This is the main difference between the
greenside bunker and the fairway bunker.
look at the
set-up. You will dig in your feet about ½ inch and
then get your knees slightly closer together than your
normal stance, because you want your lower body to be
quiet in the swing. You will feel more of an arm swing
than a body swing, which can make you lose distance
(another reason to use “more club”).
let’s talk about
ball position. The ball should be slightly back in the
stance. You want to make sure you strike the ball first.
Be sure to aim slightly to the left, because the ball
will have the tendency to curve from left to right.
Now, you are
ready to make your usual swing and enjoy the results of
that ball consistently landing on the green. Get the
set-up right, and your odds of getting a good result
will increase dramatically.