Golf

The secret to escaping a fried egg lie, according to an LPGA pro

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Shots from the sand are some of the most difficult in golf. Getting up-and-down under normal circumstances is tough enough, but when you find yourself in a bunker, it becomes that much harder.
Even for the pros, these shots are anything but automatic. In 2023, the PGA Tour leader (Matt Kuchar) in sand saves got up-and-down just 68% of the time, while the LPGA leader (Mi Hyang Lee) topped the tour at 64%. And those are the best players in the world. For the average Joe, getting up and in from the sand is a much less likely proposition.
One of the most difficult aspects of bunker play is the unpredictability of the hazards. In the sand, you can get any number of lies, which affects the difficulty of the shot. Even perfect lies aren’t easy, but when you have a tough lie, getting up-and-down becomes all the more unlikely.
One of the most difficult lies from the bunker is the dreaded fried egg. For help with that shot, we enlisted 2016 U.S. Women’s Open champion Brittany Lang. Check out the video above, or read below for her tips.
When the ball is partially buried in the sand, you can’t use your typical bunker technique. Because of the way the ball is sitting, you have to make a few adjustments to make sure the clubhead interacts with the sand in the correct way.
“I usually try to aim a little bit to the right,” Lang says. “Because I shut the clubface.”
On a typical bunker shots, you’d use the exact opposite setup — open stance and open clubface. But because of the lie, these adjustments are necessary.
Like with normal bunker shots, you want to use an out-to-in path. But instead of using the bounce to let the clubhead glide underneath the ball, you want to hit down and let the ball explode out of the sand.
“It just gets that pure contact,” Lang says. “I just kind of chop it out of there.”
From there, the only thing you need to remember is to keep your speed up throughout the entire swing. If you can do that, the ball should pop right out of the bunker and onto the green, giving you a chance to save par.

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf. He can be reached at zephyr_melton@golf.com.
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