A fried-egg lie happens when the ball lands in a bunker and stays in the middle of the small crater that was created at impact. This is in contrast to what usually happens, where the ball hits the sand and rolls a little distance from the original point of impact, giving you a nice lie.
The fact that the ball sits lower and is surrounded by a ring of sand adds to the difficulty of the shot, versus your typical bunker shot.
Use the tips below to get out of a fried-egg bunker lie every time. Note that tips for this shot are slightly different than they are for a plugged bunker shot.
Ball sits lower than normal and is bordered by an outer ring of sand
Clubface Square to the Target; Not Open
For this type of bunker shot you actually want the club to dig into the ground rather than simply bouncing off the sand. This is explained by the fact the ball sits lower than normal.
Setting up with a clubface square to target will reduce the bounce of the club slightly, allowing for the clubface to dig into the ground a little.
Tighten your Grip More Than Usual
Because you will be digging into the sand rather than simply bouncing off of it you will want to grip the club tightly.
Sand is heavy and you want to make sure the club doesn’t rotate inside your hands as it travels towards the ball through the sand.
Aim Outside of the Ring of Sand
Aiming 2 inches behind the ball as normally advised brings in the risk of seeing the club touch the top of the outer ring of sand that was created when the ball landed in the bunker.
Because that sand is higher than the ball, hitting it first will bring in the risk of hitting the ball thin.
Instead, make sure to penetrate the sand with your club on the outside of that ring, or at around 3 inches behind the ball.
Go for a Steeper Swing
In order to help the club dig in rather than skipping off the sand, try to use a steeper swing.
In order to do so, bring your hands and club up vertically during the takeaway and backswing, more so than you normally would.
Leave the Club Buried in the Sand at Follow Through
You will want to hit a full swing in order to produce enough energy to dislodge the ball from its location inside the crater.
However, because of the sizable amount of sand that your club will travel through don’t be surprised if your club stays buried instead of coming out and allowing for a full follow through.
Actually, aim to bury the club in the ground but make sure to accelerate into impact.
Aim Short of the Hole; Ball Will Roll Some Distance
As is true for a plugged bunker lie expect the ball to roll some distance upon landing on the green. This is in contrast to the ball checking on the surface of the green or even spinning back that you may see in some bunker shots.
As a result, aim short of the pin if you can.
Other Elements, Borrowed from the Typical Bunker Setup
Other than the modifications proposed above, use the same setup that you would normally use and no longer fear the fried-egg lie bunker shots.
- Use a sand wedge
- Grip down on the club slightly,
- Open your stance,
- Widen your stance, and
- Position the ball slightly forward in your stance