When you desire a softer type of explosion shot out of the bunker from what’s commonly known as the fried egg lie, you need to Make a few adjustments for the best chance at getting the ball out in one stroke. For one, employ a sightly open clubface and relaxed hands. Make your angle of attack steeper by leaning your weight toward your front foot. This weight shift also accentuates the digging action of the clubhead, making soft hands and an open clubface that much more critical. Otherwise, the golf ball will come out with more velocity than desired.
Allow the club to naturally follow an outside-and-up backswing path. Don’t try to make this happen; just relax your hands and let it go. As is the case with most shots, you’d naturally assume that in order to get out of a fried egg lie, you’d need to follow through to your normal finish position–but not here! You want to leave the clubhead in the sand, buried an inch or so behind the ball. All your effort and momentum should transfer into the sand, not through it. This type of action will make a huge hole in the bunker and will not transmit much energy to the golf ball. If your club follows through at all, it’ll only add to the velocity of the shot and decrease the height at which the ball leaves the trap. But if you stop the club immediately at impact, and maintain soft hands and an open clubface, the ball will come out with more height and less speed. When executing this shot, remember to accelerate down, not through, and fried eggs will become your specialty.
PGA professional Tom Stickney is the director of instruction at the Club at Cordillera in Vail, Colo.
This story was updated on May 30, 2017. It originally appeared in 2005.