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No Sand in the bunker

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  • No Sand in the bunker

    At the end of the summer on the course I been playing, not the best maintained I admit, the bunkers were low on sand and baked dried and hard (the Thames Water drought), now they are just like the beach immediately after the tides gone out, firm packed and very damp and soggy.

    Either way I have no real idea how to get the ball out reliably - unless I quit on the shot I'm OK most of the time with "real sand" but I approach these bunkers not knowing where to begin.

    Hopefully some of you guys have a suggestion.

  • #2
    Re: No Sand in the bunker


    I play this one of two ways - the former being more risky than the latter.

    1) Try to pick it off cleanly with a delicate pitch.

    2) Take a low-bounce club (like a PW or GW or low bounce LW), square or slightly close the face, and hit a normal sand shot. The low bounce and square to closed face helps the club dig.


    • #3
      Re: No Sand in the bunker

      when i'm in a deep wet bunker and the sand is very wet, i tend to use my 60% wedge and i try and hit about 3 inches of sand out of the bunker and onto the green taking the ball with it, i think more about the 3 inches of sand than hitting the ball, it seems to work for me ok and i do get out if not always close to pin.


      • #4
        Re: No Sand in the bunker


        Hard pact dirt/sand, I've been taught to keep the club head close to the surface when taking the club back. This will stop any bounce as if you would have if you swang the club steeply.

        Have I confused you?


        • #5
          Re: No Sand in the bunker

          If the bunkers are really in bad shape, as you posted "soggy" it could not hurt to ask the guy that takes your green fees if the course management feels that their bunkers could be considered "ground under repair", or non playable for the golfer. Laugh if you want, but I guarantee you one of three things will happen. One is they will tell you to take relief per the rules, no closer to the hole etc..... Two is you will at least get their attention. Very few courses like to be questioned about the playability of their product. You might remind them that there is a difference between a hazard, and conditions being hazardous. It's a stretch, but have some fun with it. Three is, and most likely that you will have to play the ball as it lies, and take the posted advice given on how to play the ball off such conditions. Sand bunkers should not be "soggy". Wet, and firm is ok, and pretty normal in arid climates. I wonder if Tiger would play out of "soggy" bunker?...LOL Now that I think about it, did not Davis Love III break a sprinkler head in a tournament that filled up a bunker, and the players following him were given relief due to the standing "casual" water? I might be wrong about the ruling. I just remember laughing about it. GJS


          • #6
            Re: No Sand in the bunker

            Your right about the ruling Sr, relief from casual water is permitted in the bunker, but, relief must be taken in the bunker no nearer the hole.


            • #7
              Re: No Sand in the bunker

              A guy I know once tried to argue "imbedded stones" in a hard packed bunker...

              Don't think he won his argument at the time, his playing partners made him either play it or take an unpolayable, but the next morning the bunker had been marked GUR (one of the apprentice greenkeepers was in the group...)

              2 weeks later, the bunkers had been raked cleaned and top dressed with neww sand...

              I'm with GJS on the try the argument theory....

              It may not work with the immediate shot, but wars are never won in one battle...


              • #8
                Re: No Sand in the bunker

                Right, next time out, if it's hard-pack (unlikely at the moment since its throwing it down) I'll try a "normal" pitch or lofted chip depending on the bunker, if it's soft and damp I'll try a sand shot with a square / closed PW.

                If the practice bunker isn't full of water like last time I might even try it out first - if that's not promising I'll ask the GUR question.


                • #9
                  Re: No Sand in the bunker

                  Just a side issue Scragger,

                  I got the Captain at our local club to add a rule to the local rules board, ie, stones are moveable obstructions from the bunkers.

                  I asked for this because the stones were wrecking my clubs. You pay good money for them. The bunkers should have better quality sand in them.


                  • #10
                    Re: No Sand in the bunker

                    I'm hearing you Nicole...

                    When I first got my first set of Ping Eye2's, I carried this old haggard 5 iron for about 6 months just in case I needed to hit a shot that might scratch the new Ping's!!!!!!

                    I'm just as protective of my new ISI's, though I did get them 2nd hand and they were a little marked already and the old 5 iron is long gone......

                    If a course is going to be bunkered, I'm with you, the committee & ground staff "should" ensure they are kept in as good playable condition as is possible at all time. Not always easy I know, especially down here in Australia during a hot baking summer where water is an issue. It's around now (Dec - Feb) that some of our clubs/courses start to struggle with water and fairways get harder and more barren and some are forced against their better judgements to go to "Tee Up".

                    Some guys at my club are getting ridiculous length off the tee due to the ground being so hard. Last time out I played with a guy who is long at the best of times, but, this day he drove our 12th hole which is 410m long. NICE!!!

                    But this is discussion fodder for another thread....