Fairway bunker basics video

Just because you’ve found sand off the tee doesn’t mean you have to adopt a defensive strategy, scrambling through the hole in a bid to keep your score intact.

Of course, a lot will depend on how steep the lip is, but modern fairway bunkers often give you the chance of going for the green in two.

To take the shot on, though, you will need to be confident that you can find a solid strike. This is the key when playing from fairway bunkers.

There’s nothing for you to fear here, as long as you make a couple of small adjustments at address. Start by moving the ball back in your stance.

I’ve got 144 yards here, and I’m using an 8-iron. However, to ensure the correct strike, I’m setting the ball well back in my stance – towards my right heel.

This will help create a steeper angle of attack into the ball, so I catch it before making contact with the sand.

The loft of the club will get the ball up in the air if you make a normal swing, albeit with a lower flight than usual.

My other tip for this shot would be to focus your eyes on a spot at the front of the ball – this willhelp you catch it cleaner. From there, just make a normal swing.

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Of course, it’s always important to maintain the spine angle you set at address through to impact, but when playing a fairway bunker shot this becomes even more imperative. By keeping a solid spine angle, you’re much more likely to find the strike you’re looking for.


  • Ball back in stance
  • Steeper angle of attack to catch the ball first
  • Let the loft of the club get the ball up in the air
  • Focus on a spot in front of the ball to ensure a clean strike