If you happened to watch the Heritage Tournament on Easter Weekend you saw the PGA Tour Player’s nightmare shot end Luke Donald’s bid to win the event and become number one in the Word Golf Rankings. On the third playoff hole, Donald hit a perfect tee shot on the 18th at Sea Pines Golf Course and only having 170 to the pin he hits a 9-iron and the ball comes up short and lands short of the green in the bunker, KERRSPLAT. It ends up in its own pitch mark, or better known as a fried egg. This near impossible shot to get close to the hole was executed with near perfect precision and he almost knocked it in the hole. With this in mind, should you ever face this situation, here is how you want to handle the dreaded Fried Egg bunker shot:
The first thing is, do not panic. The golf shot appears to be more difficult than it truly is. Stand up to the shot and invoke a positive mental attitude that will enhance your opportunity to successfully execute the golf shot. This shot must be approached like any other greenside bunker shot.
Take a stance that will be open to the intended target line. Use your normal grip. Lay the club face wide open so that the face of the club is facing the sky. The ball must be positioned forward in your stance. Brace your weight (70%) on your foot closest to the intended target. The knees should be flexed more than the normal bunker shot set up. This provides a more stable base for the force of this specialty shot.
The alignment of the club is to be set with the hosel of the club directly behind the ball. Normally the middle of the clubface is set up directly behind the ball and the club slides under the ball with the sand lifting the ball out of the bunker. In this instance, the club must “dig” the ball out of the pitch mark.
The backswing will be very steep and along the line of your feet alignment. The swing should be approximately ¾ length. The downswing will be a steep descending swing that will allow the hosel to dig down underneath the ball allowing for the clubface to trap sand between the clubhead and the ball. The ball will pop up and out of the bunker and land softly on the green. The ball will not “scream” across the green like what happens when most golfers attempt to hit the golf shot by closing the clubface down.
Practice this and if you have any challenges with this, please feel free to contact Greg at the Trilogy Golf Club at Vistancia.
Greg Ellis is the General Manager of Trilogy Golf Club at Vistancia, located in Peoria, Arizona. Be sure to tune in to the Bunker to Bunker Golf Show every Saturday morning from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. or on 620KTAR AM or on the internet at ktar.com; and click on the SportsTalk button for more tips and updates on all of the week’s golfing news in the Valley and around the world. Join Greg, Marty Monaghan, and Jim Hill for a comprehensive look at the golf world every week.