Teaching Professional/Dana Rader Golf School
University du Quebec
a Montreal, MBA
Conquer Your Fear of Fairway
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
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
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