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Rock hard green side bunkers

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Some of the muni courses I play have pretty nice fairways and greens, but the bunkers haven't been raked since 1997.  It's great for fairway bunkers, but green side bunkers... not so much. 

 

These were so hard, that I could barely even make a footprint walking into them.  I tried pounding down to get the bounce under the ball, but I over shot the hole.  I saved bogey, but it was still a bogey.  I can usually get up and down from fluffy sand 50% of the time.  

 

Would you guys hit these like a chip shot or just slightly open the face?  

 

The best advice would be to avoid the bunkers, I know.  ;)

post #2 of 27

It depends on the lip.

If there isn't one, you can even putt out if they are super hard.

Opening the club face will possibly make things worse.

The problem is that the club bounces off the hard surface and into the middle of the ball, causing the skulled shot.

You want to take a club with LESS bounce, possibly even a PW and try to drive the club into the ground, keeping your wrists much firmer than you normally would in a normal bunker.

post #3 of 27
Sounds like the bunkers at my home course, except that my bunkers have actual rocks in them, as well as being rock hard...
post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by HawkNballs View Post
 

Some of the muni courses I play have pretty nice fairways and greens, but the bunkers haven't been raked since 1997.  It's great for fairway bunkers, but green side bunkers... not so much. 

 

These were so hard, that I could barely even make a footprint walking into them.  I tried pounding down to get the bounce under the ball, but I over shot the hole.  I saved bogey, but it was still a bogey.  I can usually get up and down from fluffy sand 50% of the time.  

 

Would you guys hit these like a chip shot or just slightly open the face?  

 

The best advice would be to avoid the bunkers, I know.  ;)

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shorty View Post
 

It depends on the lip.

If there isn't one, you can even putt out if they are super hard.

Opening the club face will possibly make things worse.

The problem is that the club bounces off the hard surface and into the middle of the ball, causing the skulled shot.

You want to take a club with LESS bounce, possibly even a PW and try to drive the club into the ground, keeping your wrists much firmer than you normally would in a normal bunker.

If you do a pitch shot as in the video below, you should not have issues with skull shots.  Bounce is your friend, even off hard pan.  I am very comfortable with this technique and recommend it.  Putting would still be a great option though without a lip.

 

 Quickie Pitching Video - Golf Pitch Shot Technique 

post #5 of 27
If there isn't much of a lip, I try to chip them with very quiet lower body. If the lip is pretty clean, then a putt would work. If you have to blast, I just hit a little less behind the ball. There still is sand there so the club will go under the ball. It's a more exact shot so I really concentrate on no head movement or lower body. I play at a muni where this is the case after rainstorms. Otherwise they keep the traps raked pretty well.
post #6 of 27
I call them cement bunkers ... I play them similar to not being in a bunker at all ... So depending on how high and how far I need to carry and/or run is the club I select ...
post #7 of 27
I delta with this yesterday. I wish i would have seen this thread. The shot i hit went sailing over the green and into a bush. I made an 8 on a par 5 because of that shot. Im going to try to hit a pitch shot the next time I play somewhere with concrete bunkers. Thanks for the idea bogey.
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by vangator View Post

If there isn't much of a lip, I try to chip them with very quiet lower body. If the lip is pretty clean, then a putt would work. If you have to blast, I just hit a little less behind the ball. There still is sand there so the club will go under the ball. It's a more exact shot so I really concentrate on no head movement or lower body. I play at a muni where this is the case after rainstorms. Otherwise they keep the traps raked pretty well.
Wet bunkers are another thing entirely, if there is sand there, it's probably the easiest bunker shot you can have. I think the OP is talking about literally no sand, concrete essentially, which I've experienced far too often. I'll generally try to chip it, catching it clean but don't think I've ever really hit a good shot in this situation.
post #9 of 27

I don't recommend this, but it does work well for me. I golf on courses that have a lot rock firm bunkers. They water them and then the sun bakes them hard. Other times they don't have any sand in them, and I have hit off hard pan. It's one of those escape shots that the golfer really needs to practice. 

 

I have 62* LW with pretty much zero bounce. I play the thin lie shot just like I would off of a driving range mat, sitting on concrete. Ball a little more forward in my open stance. I also open the club face a little. After that set up, I pretty much just "splat" ball with the flat club face with a some what steeper down swing. For lack of a better analogy, I am basically throwing the face down at, and under the ball. I am not interested in getting the ball close to the pin, or how much green I have to work with,  but I do want out of that bunker.  

post #10 of 27
What's a half pitch/half flop? That's what I use.

A flitch. a2_wink.gif
post #11 of 27
I had a bunker shot today in a bunker with wet, hard sand. I thought of this thread. I hit a little closer to the ball and hit a great shot. Probably a 60 foot shot to 10 feet. Made the putt for par.
post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 

I'm ok with wet compacted sand.  These were dried out "cement bunkers", like isukgolf mentioned.

 

If they were shallow lipped bunkers I would hit a square faced chip like I would off a tight lie.  These were about 4ft high.  This is what I get for playing a $37 muni.  ;)

post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patch View Post
 

I don't recommend this, but it does work well for me. I golf on courses that have a lot rock firm bunkers. They water them and then the sun bakes them hard. Other times they don't have any sand in them, and I have hit off hard pan. It's one of those escape shots that the golfer really needs to practice. 

 

I have 62* LW with pretty much zero bounce. I play the thin lie shot just like I would off of a driving range mat, sitting on concrete. Ball a little more forward in my open stance. I also open the club face a little. After that set up, I pretty much just "splat" ball with the flat club face with a some what steeper down swing. For lack of a better analogy, I am basically throwing the face down at, and under the ball. I am not interested in getting the ball close to the pin, or how much green I have to work with,  but I do want out of that bunker.  

 

Great advice !!!  :-)

 

A friend asked me to work over his 64* Lob. I ground 2*-3* of the bounce of the back end and it worked very well in hard pan bunkers.

I use the key you mention with most of my short side bunker shots (throw the face down hard at the ball) with my 60*

My success is generally good enough to have a decent chance of making the putt for a save, or two putt and move on.

 

I used to practice hitting my lob, sand, and gap wedges off of a small piece of plywood at the range to get the feel of the club bouncing off of the hard surface.

 

Club Rat

post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 

I actually saw a video once with a teaching pro named Josh Zander.  To prove a point that you can use bounce on a tight lie... he hit a lob shot off of the green!  No divot whatsoever.  That takes some practice, me thinks.  ;)

post #15 of 27

At lot of the course here in the Midwest use river bottom sand, when it gets wet, it can pack down pretty hard, almost like concrete.  I tend to play those kinds of bunkers like I would if I was playing off of hardpan, pretty much pick the ball clean.

post #16 of 27

I've never hit off true cement sand where your club will literally bounce off just as hard as off cement.  Off super hard sand I tend to just play it as a tight lie pitch shot.  Don't try to blast it at all.  Just a normal close green side pitch, maybe ball back in the stance a tad to reduce bounce a little and discourage bouncing off the sand and skulling it if I hit a tad further behind than I want.  I also will usually do less float-loady wrists, usually more firm, more chip style wrists, to reduce the moving parts and help ensure the club descends right where I want it to.

post #17 of 27

Really depends on bunker configuration and where the pin is for me. We get really hard bunkers from the weather, rains, watering and the sun baking can make the bunkers really hard. The problem is it can be difficult to tell what the consistency is under the ball even trying to dig in with your feet may not be enough to provide a clue. Sometimes I chip it out other times I try to hit a standard bunker shot. I do my best to stay out of the bunkers just never know what you'll find in there. Just as concerned it won't be raked as the quality of the sand.

post #18 of 27
Thread Starter 

This course is really messed up.  Pretty soft sand in fairway bunkers... and rock hard sand in the green side bunkers.  Bassackwards! 

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