Ocean City Golf School

The Original Golf School Monthly Golf Tips by PGA Professional Bob Affelder


Bob Affelder PGA Pro

Fairway Bunkers

A fairway bunker shot gives a lot of golfers trouble.  I think more than anything the uncertainty of how to play the shot creates anxiety in many players.  To get out consistently, one must have a solid plan and then repeat it enough times to be able to execute it during a round of golf.


First, determine the lie of the golf ball.  If the ball sits up nicely on top of the sand, the shot is easier and you may be able to play different clubs.  If the ball is nestled down into the sand, a short iron would probably be the club of choice.  If the ball is sitting down into the sand, take a short iron, position the ball slightly back in your stance, put your hands forward of the ball at address.  Do your best to swing down and through, striking the back of the ball or slightly behind it.  Make your plan to get back in the fairway in one shot.


If you have a good lie, you may want to get more distance on the shot.  If the ball is sitting up on top of the sand, the plan should be to pick it cleanly out of the trap.  First, select the club that safely allows you to clear the lip of the trap.  Next, choke down on the grip about an inch.  Secure your stance and position the ball forward of center.  This will help you meet the ball at its equator.  The last thing is to look at the equator of the ball and trust your swing.  A high lofted fairway wood (like a 5 or 7) will also work well with this technique.


Remember, assess your lie, check the lip of the bunker and then plan your strategy.

Monthly Golf Tips
January February March April May June
July August September October November December