CLEAR HAZARDS WITH EASE
How to select the right club to clear a bunker in front of the green
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.