Big Play: How to beat a tough bunker lie like Donald faced at Heritage

Big Play: How to beat a tough bunker lie like Donald faced at Heritage

Luke Donald failed to get up-and-down from a tough lie on the third hole of his sudden-death playoff on Sunday at the Heritage.
Jake Drake/Icon SMI

WHO: Luke Donald
WHAT: 25-yard bunker shot from a fried-egg lie
WHEN: Third hole of a playoff against Brand Snedeker
WHERE: 452-yard par-4 18th hole at Harbour Town Golf Links

When Donald hit into the bunker and his ball buried in a fried-egg lie, the TV announcers made it sound like he would need to hit a trick shot to get out of the bunker. They made hitting from a buried, or “fried egg,” lie sound so much more difficult than it really is.

THE DRILL: If your ball is in a perfect lie in a bunker with perfect sand, you need to take a divot that’s fairly shallow but long (the length of a football). From a fried egg, the divot has to be deeper and rounder than with a regular lie to produce the power to gouge the ball out of the sand.

In the backswing, take the club back a little more outside and a little steeper than normal. Also, the clubface at address should be a little more open than normal. Coming into impact, the leading edge of the club head must hit the sand just behind the edge of the fried egg. A fried egg lie typically has a circular ring around the ball, so your club head should hit the sand just behind the circle.

Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brian Manzella runs the Brian Manzella Golf Academy at English Turn in New Orleans.