How to se­lect the right club to clear a bunker in front of the green

Golf World (UK) - - STRATEGY -

Here’s a sit­u­a­tion with which we’re all fa­mil­iar. You’re hit­ting a short iron into a green. Or­di­nar­ily, a fairly straight­for­ward shot but the fact it’s up­hill and a large bunker lies di­rectly in front of the putting sur­face makes the dif­fi­culty fac­tor higher.

There are two all-too-easy ways to find the bunker. You can mis-hit the ball slightly, tak­ing some power out of the shot – or you can hit a per­fectly sound shot but un­der­club.

Avoid­ing both of those sce­nar­ios is about data and club se­lec­tion. You have to know not only your own yardages but the dis­tance to com­fort­ably clear the haz­ard. You also need to fac­tor in the up­hill lie, which takes dis­tance off your nor­mal yardage. All this, plus the fact the trou­ble is short, means tak­ing two ex­tra clubs should be the smartest play.

4 steps to play­ing this shot

1. Find out the dis­tance to the pin. 2. Find out the dis­tance to clear the sand. 3. Take one ex­tra club for some mar­gin for er­ror if you mis-hit the shot. 4. Take one ex­tra club to al­low for play­ing up­hill.

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