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  • Soft sand bunker

    Last week I went to our practise bunker and hit 70 balls out of it. I thought at last I have cracked it! The sand was firm and wet. I went to play yesterday. The first bunker I got in I naturally thought, this is going to be easy. However, it took me 4 shots to get out of it. The only difference was that it was soft powdery sand. I hit the shot hard but the ball only move to the lip of the bunker and rolled back in. What am I doing wrong here do you think? Am I taking too much sand? If so, how do I fix this please?

  • #2
    Re: Soft sand bunker

    Surprise!

    This is where equipment makes a difference (and some technique, yes).

    For the same club; you need to dig a little closer in wet, firm, coarse bunkers. You can blast a little further away in dry, soft, fluffy bunkers.

    However, equipment is the key here. You may be shortly investing in a second set of wedges!

    Your current wedges may have worked well in the bunkers that you practiced in - they may have been lower bounce and much more inclined to dig through the sand. Since the sand was hard, it bounced the club back up and let you hit the shot properly.

    In the soft powdery sand, the same wedge will just continue to dig without ever coming up - robbing your shot of the same power. SO you either need to shallow out the swing (dangerous) or open the face even more, to expose more bounce.

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    • #3
      Re: Soft sand bunker

      I take it this was a greenside bunker and not a fairway bunker as the shot is very different.

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      • #4
        Re: Soft sand bunker

        Yep, greenside.

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        • #5
          Re: Soft sand bunker

          Use your SW, open the face wide, aim your stance around 18 deg left of target, ball forward just inside left heel, hit along the line of your feet, contact the sand 2 inches behind the ball and accelerate through the shot so the clubface passes under the ball by around 1/4 inch below and carries the ball on a wedge of sand to the green, do not rotate your wrists through the shot, imagine you have a mirror attached to the clubface and you will be able to see your reflection in it at the end of the shot.

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          • #6
            Re: Soft sand bunker

            Thanks for these suggestions chaps. Having looked at it, I think my main mistake might be not having the ball far enough forward in my stance. I had it about in the middle!

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            • #7
              Re: Soft sand bunker

              I have found that I need to make 2 adjustments depending on the firmness of the sand. The softer the sand is, the more foreward I play the ball from my open stance. The firmer the sand is, as in wet, or sun baked, the farther back in my open stance I need to play. I should also add that I am in the minority group of golfers who does not carry a high bounce SW. I use a low bounce LW for my green side bunker shots. My other wedges are a PW, and AW. I am just funny that way. GJS

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              • #8
                Re: Soft sand bunker

                in terms of opening up the clubface in playing a bunker shot, it depends how far i have to hit it.

                if i only need to hit it 5 - 10m. i might open it up the face, stand 30degrees to the target and swing through the ball impacting about 1 - 2" behind the ball so i get a nice high loft out of the sand and stops almost dead.

                if you open up teh face too much and hit too far your going to get way too much side spin, account for this by aiming left of the target 4 - 6ft.

                if it's a longer shot 10 - 20m, play the ball like u would normally (ball maybe a tad forward in your stance) and hit just before the ball.

                for the longer one again 50m+ i always try and hit the ball thin. you can generally control the speed at which u hit the ball and account for the ball flying quickly out of the bunker.

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                • #9
                  Re: Soft sand bunker

                  I am also having problems in softer sand. I have usually been very good out of all kinds of sand, obviously coarse and wet sand are easier to hit out of. I am a 7 handicap and it is really frustrating me. I am lefty so as I describe things remember to convert them to righty. I have the correct equipment. I have a 60 degree and 56 degree high bounce sand wedges (Cleveland CG10) I also have lower bounce wedges as well for wet and coarse conditions.. When I hit out of soft sand, I typically play the ball way up front, open stance and open club face. I attempt to contact the ball maybe 2 inches behind the ball (depending on the length of the greenside shot) swinging across on my stance line keeping the clubface open the whole way (so it is pointing skyward). However, more times than not, the last few weeks, I am hitting the ball hard left on a line. I almost feel like I am somehow blading the ball. I had a bit more success (not much though) when I accentuated a very high abrupt backswing and then an abrupt downswing (like a V rather than a U shaped shot). I have hit some better shots, but I have gone from being a very confident bunker player to very unsure of myself. Any rx would be appreciated.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Soft sand bunker

                    hi
                    i have a 52% sand wedge and i use when in soft sand like the links courses i play a lot and i have a 56%wedge i use for the inland courses as the sand is more gritty and you need more dig than bounce.
                    hi Brian
                    up here the links courses have the same soft sand in both the fairway bunkers and the greenside bunker and both are deep sided to stop the wind blowing the sand away and its just as hard getting out the fairway bunkers as it is the greenside ones. our inland courses mostly have a grainy sand thats heavy and not as deep and the fairway bunkers are not hard to get out of most of the time.
                    cheers
                    bill

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                    • #11
                      Re: Soft sand bunker

                      I was reading somewhere that for dry sand, use a SW and for wet sand, a PW is beter...

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                      • #12
                        Re: Soft sand bunker

                        Originally posted by cyc53870 View Post
                        I was reading somewhere that for dry sand, use a SW and for wet sand, a PW is beter...
                        And the reason why? Bounce.

                        I'll guarantee that in 99% of sets, the PW has less bounce than the SW. This helps it cut into the sand versus bounce out of it.

                        The other option when facing wet and/or dense sand is to keep the face of the SW square to the target (versus cranking it open). This will present the leading edge to the sand again allowing the head to plow through versus bouncing out.

                        The reason why we open the SW in light, fluffy sand is because it will naturally dig down and plow, so we need that bounce to help it come out again.

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