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Hatred of bunkers . . .

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  • Hatred of bunkers . . .

    I've just spent 2 hours in a practice bunker and found it really useful, as before I was really unsure about my sand play, but now I am absolutely certain about it, ie if I go in one, I just pick up.
    I know what I am supposed to do, but nothing works with any consistency. Open face, open stance, ball forward, slide the club underneath, "chopping it's legs off", follow hrough . . . . it doesn't work.
    I am not a bad player, but have to play to avoid sand at all costs - I played on Monday, and had a round without any sixes in it, but missed the green at the 15th by a yard from 160 yards and went in the only bunker of the day. Two to get out, then another 3 to get down (as I hit it out so far away from the pin) for a card-wrecking 7 that stopped me breaking 80.
    I absolutely hate sand and am sick of hearing how it's the "easiest shot in golf"
    I actually wonder if my sand wedge may have too much bounce? It has a kind of continuous rounded dome underneath, not just a couple of inches like most of them do. It's a mystery to me as I am a good enough short game player to be able to hit 95% of all the balls I was practising with back into the sand from all the varied locations I had bladed them to, between 50 and 10 yards in all directions.
    Last edited by mariner; 05-26-2010, 03:56 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Hatred of bunkers . . .

    I bet you are placing the ball to far forward. You are bottoming out way to early and do not get your hands through the impact zone.

    So just try this out:

    Play a shot dead center, normal chipping stance, no open face at all...aim right at it. Now hit the shot.

    Tell me what happens.

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    • #3
      Re: Hatred of bunkers . . .

      Go to the practice bunker, rake the sand then mark out two parallel lines down the bunker around six inches apart. Don't bother with balls just practice making divots that enter at the first line and exit at the second. Keep doing this until you can make the correct divot at will, then mark the lines again and put a line of balls spaced out down the middle of the two lines and create the divots again. The balls should now come out nicely.

      Do this a number of times, also make another two parallel lines without balls a yard behind the first two, if you blade another ball go back to these lines and create good divots again before going back to hitting balls.

      A few things to focus on: Hit right through to a high finish, turn through so that you are up on your right toe at the finish, weight really forward through the shot (No scooping).

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      • #4
        Re: Hatred of bunkers . . .

        You spoke about the possibility of your SW having too much bounce. It could be that the sand you are in is of the "firm" variety, and not soft enough to allow the use of too much bounce. The problem get worse as the SW is opened up.

        Myself, and I am only speaking of myself, my get out of the green side bunker club of choice is my lob wedge. I use the same swing I use off the turf to hit lob shots. It has minimal, if any, bounce. Reason being I play on a lot of courses that have bunkers with not much actual sand in them, or they have sand that is watered with the turf, sun baked, or worse, still wet.

        If I need a longer escape shot than what my LW can provide, I move to my AW, passing up my SW. Again, my AW has less bounce than my SW.

        Just because it is labeled a sand wedge does not always mean it is the correct club for getting out of all conditions the sand might be in. I actually use my SW more from turf areas than I do for sand. Food for thought. GJS

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        • #5
          Re: Hatred of bunkers . . .

          Originally posted by GolfJunkieSr View Post
          You spoke about the possibility of your SW having too much bounce. It could be that the sand you are in is of the "firm" variety, and not soft enough to allow the use of too much bounce. The problem get worse as the SW is opened up.

          Myself, and I am only speaking of myself, my get out of the green side bunker club of choice is my lob wedge. I use the same swing I use off the turf to hit lob shots. It has minimal, if any, bounce. Reason being I play on a lot of courses that have bunkers with not much actual sand in them, or they have sand that is watered with the turf, sun baked, or worse, still wet.

          If I need a longer escape shot than what my LW can provide, I move to my AW, passing up my SW. Again, my AW has less bounce than my SW.

          Just because it is labeled a sand wedge does not always mean it is the correct club for getting out of all conditions the sand might be in. I actually use my SW more from turf areas than I do for sand. Food for thought. GJS
          Do you take the ball clean with the LW or take some sand before the ball?

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          • #6
            Re: Hatred of bunkers . . .

            I take some sand instead of hitting just the ball when in a bunker. It's more like a "splat" or "splash" into the sand in back of the ball. There is still sand between my club and the ball. The club does not "dig in" very much. The only thing I really do different from my lob shot off of turf is when in the sand, I will move the ball just a little forward in my stance.

            Now if the bunker is pretty much void of usable sand, and is more consistent with hard pan, I will choke down a little on the grip, and pick the ball clean. I treat it as a "thin" lie.

            Obviously if I need to play out of a bunker that has nice, soft, deep "play ground" sand in it, then of course I will choose a club with more bounce for the shot at hand. I never choose a club until I see the condition the ball is in, and the shot that is needed. The balls condition when I get to it, turns into my problem to deal with....so to speak. GJS
            Last edited by GolfJunkieSr; 05-28-2010, 03:39 AM.

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            • #7
              Re: Hatred of bunkers . . .

              I got a new SW, a 60 degree with about an inch of bounce, I only had time for half an hour in the practice bunker today, but there was no difference at.
              Greg, I tried that chip shot as you asled . . . . I hit the sand, the ball goes about three yards, not very high.
              BUT . . . . as it was a new club, I soon noticed that there were a load of scratch marks on the hosel, indicating I'd been shanking when I thought I'd been blading. Only time to hit another dozen balls, but I addressed the ball off the toe and they all came out.

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              • #8
                Re: Hatred of bunkers . . .

                It must have been karma or something after being a part of this thread. During yesterday's round I spent considerable time "on the beach"...so to speak. I was in 7 bunkers. Five of them were green side. I was in more sand yesterday, than all all my rounds combined so far this year. Not one of my better ball striking days I would have to say. Shot an 89. I treated these shots just like any other. I looked at the up side, especially the green side bunker lies. I mean at least I was not missing the greens by that much, and the fact that few bounced horizontally into bunker was just a little bit annoying. The fairway/waste bunkers I was in, were just thin lie shots for the most part. Just some "other" golf shots I needed to make, that I don't usually have to deal with. I got out of all them with one stroke, and 2 of the 5 green side I still made par on.

                My point is these sandy conditions are nothing more than another golf shot to be made. They should not make the golfer frustrated, or even frightened of them. They are a part of the game. My thinking is there are worse places for a golfer's ball to be on a golf course. Water, and out of bounds come to mind. How about a ball still in play but lost in the deep rough? All sand traps allow for a playable lie of some sort. They might be considered by some golfers as more of mental part of their game, but the mental part of golf is where we all have the most control over our play. It's like buying a car. If you go into process thinking you are going to get screwed, then you will. But, if the you go into the deal figuring you are going to be the one doing the screwing to the salesman/dealership, then you walk out the door with a good deal, and a better feeling for what you just accomplished. Same with golf. Walk away from every golf shot feeling accomplished in some way.

                BTW, the fact that were all drinking more than a few beers during our round had nothing to do with me winding up in these bunkers. At least that's my story, and I am sticking to it. Can one play golf too relaxed? GJS
                Last edited by GolfJunkieSr; 05-29-2010, 04:28 PM.

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                • #9
                  Re: Hatred of bunkers . . .

                  Ha! That was good about the beers, I've often played better in the afternoon after a lunchtime drink!
                  Though you say you could be in a lot worse places than in the sand, my problem is fear of going into those places (OOB etc) FROM the sand due to inadvertently contacting the ball.
                  I'm a lot better now, but still not happy about it. My annual trip to Scotland where we play two rounds a day for a week is coming up on June 12th, and this is the highlight of my golfing calendar, hence my concern.
                  I wonder if I'm getting too paranoid about this as it may be that I'll only need three sand shots a day . . . . but 60-odd putts, and would be better off practising those!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Hatred of bunkers . . .

                    This video may be of some help to you.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Hatred of bunkers . . .

                      Thanks!
                      Didn't he hit the ball though!!?

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                      • #12
                        Re: Hatred of bunkers . . .

                        I am glad you posted this. I am not too good with greenside bunkers. I did the same as you but worse Monday. On hole 6 and I was 3 under my handicap at that point. Great drive, terrific 8 iron approach. The ball bounced sideways though and ended up in the bunker. It took ME 3 to get out! Deep soft sand. Our bunkers are usually that rock hard stuff. So, I will be reading these tips hoping to improve.

                        Bri

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                        • #13
                          Re: Hatred of bunkers . . .

                          Originally posted by mariner View Post
                          Thanks!
                          Didn't he hit the ball though!!?
                          Dont think so. The ball lifted out nicely, sounded like trhe bounce slapping the sand to me.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Hatred of bunkers . . .

                            No, he hardly would have left it in the video if he'd done that would he?
                            I played yesterday, went in one bunker and splashed out to 4 feet, all very proper - I still have to address the ball about 4 inches "south east" of the back of it though, and swing fully, but very slowly. Is this normal?

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                            • #15
                              Re: Hatred of bunkers . . .

                              I didn't do any good in the comp yesterday. 3 greenside bunkers I took 2 to get out of them. Chipping was pretty good though. Ended up with a net 2 under. If it is not one thing it is another with me.

                              Bri

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