The “in-between” fairway bunker shot, where you’re well inside 100 yards to the green, presents a dilemma to the average golfer. Steve Dresser of the Steve Dresser Golf Academy in Pawleys Island, S.C. weighs your options, then walks you through what he thinks is the best shot for you to execute.
Here we are in what a lot of people think is no man’s land. We’re about 50 yards away in a bunker. Do you swing easy and pick it clean, or do you swing hard and take some sand? And do you use your sand wedge or your lob wedge?
Well, I learned this shot from an old-time pro, I thought he was old-time, he’s probably about my age now. To take an 8 iron and aim a little more to the left than you might normally, because we’re going to take a pretty big swing and probably put some slice spin on it. But when you need it to go farther, there’s no rule that says you have to use a sand wedge – and I find it easier to swing harder and take sand than I do to try to pick it perfectly clean.
So you’re still going to open up the face like you would in a regular greenside bunker, still got to put your weight on your left side, and we’re just going to take the club up fairly abruptly down into the sand and follow through. And it’s going to land on the green and kick quite a bit to the right afterward because it will have some slice spin on it, but it’s really an easy way to get that extra distance you need out of the bunker without trying to take less sand or swing harder with more loft.
So try it. It takes a little bit of practice, but it’s really a pretty cool shot and not nearly as hard as it may look.