Bunker smarts

Choose your club depending on length of shot and pin position
By Jack Woods

During any round of golf, it’s a given that technical mistakes are going to cost you shots. But many amateur golfers compound this by losing more shots with rushed decisions. For every shot you face out on the golf course, you should always ask yourself: ‘how do I make getting the desired outcome as straightforward as possible?’. This is especially applicable to the more technically challenging shots, like those from greenside bunkers.


Pictured left on our Academy Par 3 course at Dubai Creek is a greenside sand shot to two flags. It’s automatic for most players to see their ball here and reach for their most lofted wedge without thinking too much more about it. Sure, for the tight short pin, this is unquestionably the right club. You want to pop the ball up high and soft with minimal roll.

But what about the shot of about 20-25 yards to the longer pin? It’s far easier to play it exactly the same way as the short pin, but just drop down to a pitching wedge. You can make the same swing, and take the same amount of sand, plus your margin for error goes up. By minimising your variables, you can give each shot its best chance of success.

Jack Woods is a PGA Teaching Professional at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club. For more information, visit dubaigolf.com

Photograph by Kristina Nabieva
Photo Illustrations by Clarkwin Cruz