Failing to get out of a fairway bunker may be the most frustrating experience in golf.
Often amateurs are unsure of what club will get them out of the bunker, but still get far enough towards the hole. In this video, Justin Rose walks you through his, rather-strange, technique for determining the right club.
You Need Loft
A bunker is a hazard and before you have any ideas of getting close to the hole, you need to escape that hazard. The loft on a club will help you get the ball in the air and escape any face the bunker may have. The most common mistake amateurs make is using a club that doesn't provide enough loft to get out of the sand.
Stand On Your Head
If you lay a club down on a flat lie, with the face pointing to the sky, and stand (gently) on the face you will see that your shaft creates an angle with the ground. This angle helps you gauge the launch angle of that club, and see how quickly it will get in the air. Stand on a pitching wedge and it will create a much larger angle than a 6-iron. Use this gauge to help you select which club is best for a fairway bunker shot.
Don't Kiss The Lips
Remember that the goal of a fairway bunker shot is to get out of the bunker and back in play. Air on the side of caution when it comes to selecting which club you will use and ensure it offers enough loft and launch to miss the lip of the bunker.