Pick Your Iron Shots Clean Out Of A Fairway Bunker

Jim Hardy & Chris O’Connell

Jim Hardy & Chris O’Connell

SwingU Master Faculty, Golf Magazine & Golf Digest Top 100 Teachers

Let’s first talk about the two different ways to hit an iron shot out of a bunker, I’m going to introduce them and then if you just explain them. One is to hit the ball cleanly, if you will, just almost as though we’re going to pick the thing out of the bunker. The other one is to hit it more like a normal shot, where you’re going to hit the ball and then sand first.

The one I really liked that seems to be foolproof is if I’m not worried about hitting a great shot, and I’m just trying to advance it, I’m almost going to half blade the ball out of here.

What I don’t want to do is I don’t want to touch the sand behind the ball because we know if I hid behind the ball at all, I’m gonna lose tremendous distance, might not even get out. So what I’m going to do is, I’m going to address the bottom of the club, the leading edge of the club, right at the equator of the ball.

Now I’m going to measure myself where my buttons or where my zipper is, if that’s five feet off the ground, I’m going to stay up, I’m going to stay tall, I’m not going to let that get closer, I’m going to stay up and I’m going to try to blade the ball in my mind, I’m going to try and blade the ball, but I’m going to swing hard enough and the momentum and the weight of the club will stretch my arms just enough to allow me to get under the equator, but not hit the sand. And I’ll basically just pick the ball out of here, without even touching the sand.

It’s probably more of an arm swing than an arm and body swing. There’s probably some body involved, but it’s mostly an arm swing that he’s going to be careful to keep that button at five feet off the ground or maybe five foot one but not lower.

That was hit dead solid, Chris.

You can see I just barely touched the sand which probably was actually caused when I hit the ball. It drove the club into the sand but it’s almost like you’re just going to scrape the ball out of there. You’re not even going to touch the sand. If you swing hard enough that’ll let you get below the equator. The ball will actually get up pretty high in the air.