How many times have you hit a beautiful tee shot right into the middle of a fairway bunker just after telling yourself not to?

The fear of knocking it in the fairway bunker is the very reason why it often translates to tight grip pressure resulting in a less than satisfactory outcome.

The Fairway bunker shot is the least practiced and the second most feared shot after the classic water hazard. I would suggest finding a time to go out to the course specifically to work on these types of shots to rid of any fear while standing over your ball. In the case you’re in a pinch, here are a few tips to better your chances:

The key is to create stability in the lower body while keeping the leading edge of the club from digging too far into the sand.

To achieve this, dig JUST your toes into the sand while leaving your heels alone once you’ve addressed the ball with a slightly wider than your normal stance. This will get your body feeling like it is more over the ball.

From there, you will give your left hip a slight bump so your spine is tilted and your eyes are looking at the right half of the ball. Think about keeping your upper body over the ball as you are swinging through. The idea is to maintain the distance between your chest and the ball during impact just like you initially do at address.

If you are more comfortable choking down on the club for control, that is absolutely okay as long as you keep in mind that you may not hit your standard yardage.

You can apply these tips to any club in your bag while adjusting the ball positioning accordingly.

Editor’s Note: If you found Cathy’s fairway bunker lesson useful, please take a moment to leave a message for her below.


Cathy Kim writes for womensgolf.comCathy Kim is the Director of Player Development at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Cathy specializes in golf instruction for all ages and skill levels. You can reach her at and follow her online at Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.