No holding back when getting out of a bunker

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Remember that the rules of golf are there to help you, so at times common sense has to prevail.

If a shot is too difficult for you to cope with, or you are not confident of pulling it off, take a penalty drop and move on.

Take a look at the first picture, you will clearly see that this may well be one of those occasions.

My ball is almost up against a cliff face, so playing it from here towards the flag would simply not work as the ball cannot rise vertically quickly enough to clear the high face.

If you attempt such a shot and the ball rebounds back and hits you then you are incurring one penalty shot and your ball would probably still be in the same bad position.

So as I said earlier, common sense should prevail.

Drop the ball back into the middle of the bunker, count a penalty shot and play it out from there.

However, for the slightly more adventurous player there is a possible alternative. Take a look at the second picture and I will explain.

As you can see I have found an escape route — I have decided to try and play the ball out in the other direction away from the green.

Note how my club face is now much more open with my ball slightly further forward in my stance. As always my weight is set on my left side on a 60-40 basis.

As the bunker face is slightly lower going this way, the ball will now be able to rise quickly enough to clear the high lip.

My swing thought from here is to create plenty of height in my backswing and to focus on making a full follow through with my right heel ending well up clear of the sand. This type of shot is often referred to as risk v reward.

I reckon that in this case it is worth the risk as you may well only drop one shot. If you had tried to play it towards the flag you will certainly have dropped more.

So there we are, only try to take on high risk shots if you are playing well and feeling confident.

However, if it is not going all that well take your medicine, and make a penalty drop, You know that makes sense.

Good luck, as always. Next week: One o’clock impact.