Fault: Indecision and fear when faced with a chip over a bunker.
Fix: ‘You’d rather be in the bunker.’ It’s a line you will have heard trotted out countless times by television commentators in this situation. Those who struggle to control their bunker shots will laugh at that but, trust me, it’s much easier to get up and down from the bunker here! You’ve taken the pin on and pulled or pushed your approach past the trap. As with all the scenarios in the strategy pieces that have run in the last few issues, clarity of thought is crucial if you are to avoid compounding that initial error further. Give yourself three shot options – like we have here – and choose the best one for you depending on lie, club selection, the strengths of your game and state of your scorecard.
The safest play eliminates the bunker, leaving a long, sloping putt. This is the right choice if you struggle with your wedges and/or putt well, but consider where on this tier you want to putt from before playing.
This has some risk as you must carry the edge of the bunker and it probably leaves a tricky downhill putt. Think about the trajectory – higher is safer, but lower could see the ball feed down.
The risky play for those with real confidence. An open face and long swing are required to get the ball to stop close to the flag. A mishit brings sand or through the green and a big number into play.
Tip: Get the right club
Think about the club in each of these scenarios and base your shot on your strengths. A short iron or PW will give you a low flight and run with little spin; a lob or gap wedge will give a higher trajectory and spin.