Make this club selection change when you have to chip over a greenside bunker
You’ve been here before: In the rough, with a greenside bunker between you and the green. If you’re like a lot of people, you’ve popped this chip up, left it short and landed in the bunker too many times. Molly Braid, a Golf Digest Best Young Teacher out of Westmoor Golf Club in Wisconsin, says club choice is likely your problem.
She sees a lot of her students look at this shot and grab a sand wedge or lob wedge, with the goal of hoisting the ball up over the bunker. This thinking, Braid says, isn’t quite right. Grabbing a high-lofted club is what makes it so easy to pop it up and leave it short. You can use slightly less loft, because bunkers that you have to fly a ball over aren’t actually as intimidating as they look.
@golfdigestwoman Next time you’re trying to save par from behind a greenside bunker, follow Golf Digest Best in State teacher Molly Braid’s club-selection advice. #golf #golftips #golfinstruction #golftiktok #womensgolf #girlswhogolf #lpga ♬ Lofi Vibes - Gentle State
“Bunkers are down in the ground. You don’t need it to go way up in the air,” Braid says. “Instead of taking a great big swing with a lob wedge or sand wedge and trying to hit it high over the sand -- which we see a lot of times coming up short -- grab your pitching wedge or gap wedge and do a pitching stroke and setup.”
When you’re staring at a bunker that you need to fly a shot over, it’s easy to think, I need to get this up in the air. And you do – but not in the same way you’d need to loft one up over a tree. The loft in your gap or pitching wedge is usually enough. Just make sure you have a bit of green between you and the flag, because this will release more than a sand wedge would.
“It’ll roll out nicely, with a lot of forgiveness,” Braid says.