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Escape a Buried Lie When in a Bunker


The Buried Lie Situation

I’m sure you’ve all been there in a buried lie in a bunker, your first instinct might be to swing super long and follow through. But this is a bad choice. The best method is to pick your sand wedge up abruptly, swing down steep, stick your club in the sand, and to leave it there. What this does is make your balll pop out. It won’t have any spin on it because of the lie, but the chance of it getting out of the sand are much better than if you were to follow through with your stroke.

How to Get Out of The Buried Lie

So now lets look at why is this method works? You would want a very steep angle of attack and not any follow through on this shot because that allows for the club to get deeper underneath the ball. With a small portion of the ball resting below the surface, you will need to compensate to get more underneath it. That is why the short, steep, punchy type of swing works the best.

Not Your Typical Bunker Shot

Your typical bunker (Buried Lie) shot calls for an open stance, an open clubface, and a nice shallow swing while taking a little bit of sand. That will not work so well with a buried lie, regardless of how hard you swing. This is because your club face will be approaching from too shallow an angle. You will hit the sand on the right side of the ball, instead of hitting the sand underneath the ball where you would want to. This is why your club will just bounce, or deflect into the ball. Even worse , you will plow too much sand into the back of ball and it will go back into the buried lie. You need to get underneath the ball somehow.

Recommend Steps For Escaping a Buried Lie in a Greenside Bunker:

  1. Set up with a bit squarer stance to help your chances of escaping a buried lie.
  2. Square the clubface a bit also. This will allow for the leading edge to enter the sand first.
  3. Pick the club up steeper, and then swing down steeper and stick the club in the ground. Hit about 1-3 inches behind the ball. You can swing hard, just don’t follow through. You won’t be able to follow through if you make the correct swing, because you will be coming down too steep. That’s good!

This is not a shot that you will face a lot, but I still think it is worth practicing. Go to a practice trap and step on a couple balls to bury them a little. Then hit some shots. Experiment a bit. Especially get the feeling of that up and down “chopping” motion when in the buried lie, and that no follow through release. By doing so, you will find that a buried lie is not really that hard to get out of.


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