Genesis Invitational

Riviera Country Club

Short Game

How To Deal With A Ball Buried In The Lip Of A Bunker

June 25, 2016

How hideous is this lie? There's a good chance we'll all be faced with it at some point: Ball buried in the bunker, under a lip. And while it looks like there’s no way to get a good stance or make any sort of solid contact, we have a few tips that can help you out.

Swing coach Jeff Ritter says that first and foremost, you need good balance for this shot. Take a wide stance, and put one foot out of the bunker and one foot in if necessary.

Open up the face of your sand wedge, and angle your shoulders so they match the angle of the slope. This will keep you from just digging straight into the side hill. Instead, you’ll be swinging with the slope of the hill, and popping the ball out.

When you swing, take three-quarters of a swing, and don’t use a lot of body turn, says Ritter. Swing hard into the sand.

Once you’ve hit the sand, Ritter says to release the tension in your arms, and let your hands come off the club a little bit. This is an injury prevention technique – you’ve probably seen tour players do it. Once they’ve made contact in a shot like this, at least one of their hands comes off the club. It keeps you from jamming your club into the lip, and potentially hurting your forearm in the process.

For more instruction, watch Golf Digest Videos.