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Claude Brousseau
Teaching Professional/Dana Rader Golf School

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University du Quebec a Montreal, MBA

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Reservations: 
704-542-7635

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Conquer Your Fear of Fairway Bunkers

by Claude Brousseau, MBA

Teaching Professional, Dana Rader Golf School

 

Playing 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:

 

First, 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.

 

Second, 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.

 

Now let’s 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”).

 

Finally, 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.

 

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