In this Ian Poulter Fairway Bunker Lesson, the Englishman explains how to attack the green from distance with a good strike

Ian Poulter Fairway Bunker Lesson

Your hybrid, because of the high flight it offers, is a great option from fairway bunkers. Here’s how to find a solid base for a smooth swing and a clean strike.

 The Address

You need to start by judging the severity of the lip. It is very easy to catch the top of the lip and the ball can either come back towards you or find its way into trouble, either way, you need to get a picture in your mind for whether your hybrid can fly high enough to carry the lip. For the shot itself, the most important thing is to hit the ball very cleanly. For that, you need to set a stable base for the swing. When you are fully loaded at the top of the backswing, transitioning into the downswing, you are forcing a lot of pressure through the ground and it can be easy to slip and to lose your footing. So to help, set your feet just wider than shoulder width apart and shuffle your them into the sand. With my 23˚ hybrid, I’m setting the ball forward in my stance – just inside the left heel.

Watch Ian's Hybrid Video tips

The Swing

The main change with this shot over the basic hybrid version is the angle of attack. I’m looking to hit slightly more down on the ball. This is because I need to guard against taking any sand before the ball.

Watch more golf swing tips videos

The final point to consider is how hard you swing in this scenario. As the shaft of the club is obviously longer than a mid or short iron you will naturally generate more clubhead speed, that’s good. But more speed can cause instability in sand so as I previously said, shuffle your feet in at address and then avoid trying to hit the ball too hard. A smooth rhythm, good balance and a crisp contact will get you up towards the green.

Neil Tappin
Digital Editor

In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing drivers and golf balls. Having been a part of the Golf Monthly team for over 15 years and playing off a handicap of 3, he has the experience to compare performance between models, brands and generations. For 2022 he thinks the main trend in drivers is: "In a word, consistency. Whilst all the brands are talking about ball speed (and the new drivers are certainly long), my biggest finding has been how much more consistent the ball flights are. Mishits don't seem to be causing the same level of drop-off or increase in the spin numbers. This means that more shots seem to be flying the way you want them to!" As far as golf balls are concerned the biggest development is in the, "three piece, non-Tour, urethane-covered section. For regular golfers, these models offer superb performance at both ends of the bag without denting your wallet quite as much as the premium Tour-played options."

Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he is now the brand's Digital Editor and covers everything from Tour player interviews to gear reviews. In his time at Golf Monthly, he has covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points. 

Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSR2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X