The Fairway Bunker Shot
By Jonathan Yarwood
This shot is a shot which is rarely practiced, yet is a vital recovery shot from a fairway bunker. There are two ways to play it, but in both cases, you need to make contact with the ball first in order to advance it a long way.
Take a look at the lip of the bunker first. If there is a lip, use a more lofted club and lower your distance expectations. People often use too little loft and hit it into the lip.
In the first way to play the shot and if you are good ball striker, set up to compress the ball like a punch shot. Namely, move the ball back a touch, weight forward slightly, choke up on the shaft and make a controlled three quarter back swing. That will create the ball first contact required.
The second way and best for poorer ball strikers is to move the ball forward, stand taller and choke down a little. Hover the club on the equator of the ball. Make a swing focusing on keeping your height and not moving your eyes or head and keeping your legs solid. On the way through, pull your follow through in a touch. All of these measures will raise the arc of the swing and allows the club to pick the ball.
Memo to everyone, especially Dustin Johnson, do not ground the club!
Jonathan Yarwood was originally from the United Kingdom, but relocated to the United States in 1996. After a few years as one of David Leadbetter’s senior teachers, Jonathan branched out on his own and has enjoyed an extensive career with a track record that speaks for itself: He has coached, 2 US Amateur Champions including this years champion Ben An, 2 US Girls Champions and 1 US Open Champion in Michael Campbell in 2005. That is 5 USGA champs in 10 years, which is a record in itself. Add to that the four number one juniors, 3 AJGA players of the year, a collegiate number one, a male and female nationally ranked number one as well as a winner on every major professional tour, you have a record to rival the best. Jonathan was voted a Top 20 teacher under 40 years old by Golf Digest in 2006, after 5 straight years of being in the best teacher in state rankings for Florida.
Copyright © 2010 REAL Magazine
Links to this article are encouraged