Don’t forget there is a whole arsenal of non-traditional golf shots available to you on the golf course.
I’ve putted out of a bunker twice this year. Once out of the back bunker on the 18th hole at Barnbougle Dunes and once out of the back-right bunker beside the 10th green at Bonnie Doon Golf Club. On both occasions it felt wrong and drew raised eyebrows from my playing partners both before and after the shots.
On both occasions it felt like the only option. Faced with a shallow lip, a smooth sand surface and a green the drops away sharply towards the hole and on both occasions the ball finished a lot closer to the hole that any decent bunker shot would have.
Rickie Fowler elected to use his putter out of a bunker at the Isleworth Golf & country Club at the Hero World Challenge last week. Faced with a downhill lie and a drop towards the hole, Fowler hit a putt that raced up the large lip of the bunker and out on to the green.
It wasn’t a great result and in hindsight maybe a lob wedge would have been a better option on this occasion.
Without wanting to disparage the art of the great bunker shot, it’s good to remember that the primary goal of the game of golf is to get the ball in the hole in as few shots as possible. The way you do it is not recorded on the card and you don’t have to play a classic bunker shot out of a bunker just because that’s the way everyone else does it.