May 20, 2008
FAIRWAY BUNKERS: CLIP THE BALL, THEN THE SAND
From a fairway bunker, your goal should be to advance the ball toward the green and leave a comfortable yardage for your next shot. To do that, you must hit the ball first.Select a club with enough loft to easily get over the lip. Then set up with more weight on your front leg -- that'll help you make the proper downward angle of attack and will ensure ball-first contact. Grip down the same amount as you dig your feet into the sand, one or two inches. Swing about 85 percent, picking the ball off the sand.
GO WITH THE SLOPE ON UNEVEN LIES
The key to playing uphill or downhill in a greenside bunker is tilting your shoulders to match the angle of the slope.On an upslope, your back shoulder will be lower than your front, with more weight on your back foot. The shaft should be at a right angle to the hill. Swing along the slope, taking a shallow divot, and expect a higher shot with more spin.On a downslope, set more weight on your front foot. Your backswing will be more vertical because of the shoulder tilt. Swing down the hill. The ball will come out low and roll.