Shane Lowry Plugged Bunker shot

The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational champion gives you the secrets to escaping this nasty situation


Shane Lowry, the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational champion, explains the changes you need to make to your technique to escape this nasty situation

This isn’t a shot many golfers practice, myself included, so it’s important you lower your expectations from this situation. You first goal is to make sure you get the ball out to give yourself a chance at a par and take double bogey out of the equation.

You obviously need to the get the club through the sand and under the ball but it’s more difficult from this lie. I would try and use the heel of the club a little more. It’s risky but seems to work better for me. More often than not the ball just pops out and you should have a putt to save your par at least.

Stand 2-3 inches further away from the ball than you would for a standard bunker shot. This lowers the handle, which helps the heel dig into the sand first.

The swing needs to feel much steeper than a normal bunker shot, a bit like you’re chopping down on a piece of wood.

Open the clubface and try and hit the sand about an inch behind the ball holding the clubface open through impact. With the heel coming into contact with the sand first, the club will naturally want to close down. A tighter grip pressure will help resist this.

Joel Tadman
Technical Editor

Joel has worked in the golf industry for over 12 years covering both instruction and more recently equipment. He now oversees all product content here at Golf Monthly, managing a team of talented and passionate writers and presenters in delivering the most thorough and accurate reviews, buying advice, comparisons and deals to help the reader find exactly what they are looking for. So whether it's the latest driver, irons, putter or laser rangefinder, Joel has his finger on the pulse keeping up to date with the latest releases in golf. He is also responsible for all content on irons and golf tech, including distance measuring devices and launch monitors.

One of his career highlights came when covering the 2012 Masters he got to play the sacred Augusta National course on the Monday after the tournament concluded, shooting a respectable 86 with just one par and four birdies. To date, his best ever round of golf is a 5-under 67 back in 2011. He currently plays his golf at Burghley Park Golf Club in Stamford, Lincs, with a handicap index of 3.2.

Joel's current What's In The Bag? 

Driver: Titleist TSR3, 9° 

Fairway wood: Titleist TSR3, 15° 

Hybrid: Titleist TSi2, 18° 

Irons: Ping i230 4-UW

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM8, 54°. Titleist Vokey SM9 60° lob wedge, K Grind

Putter: Evnroll ER2V 

Ball: 2023 Titleist Pro V1x