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Bunker Sand - Firm or Soft?

Bunker Sand  

43 members have voted

  1. 1. I prefer bunker sand that is…

    • firm.
      10
    • medium.
      23
    • soft.
      10
  2. 2. Most of the bunkers I play are…

    • too soft.
      11
    • just right.
      5
    • too firm.
      27


45 posts in this topic Last Reply

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Interesting...I really liked the nice soft sand at the South Carolina courses played in September. They were probably just borderline soft for most people. But around here, most bunkers are too firm, some poorly maintained.  -Marv

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I voted medium and too soft. It is possible for a bunker to have too much sand in it! Plus, it can depend on what kind of sand they decide to put in the bunkers. At Eagle Creek, the year I played in the Sand Trap Invitational, I noticed they had "sand" that was very coarse, very large grained. This allowed the 2+ inches of rain that fell on the day before our round to drain through. This allowed us to play bunker shots that were fairly predictable.

Bunkers with a finer grade of sand would have played like wet cement!

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I voted medium, and too firm. That said the "too firm" is sometimes not that accurate.  I have played out of some bunkers where there was very little sand covering what amounts to be hard pan. 

I see a lot of too firm bunkers in the summer time. When watering the turf, some of the bunker sand gets watered too. Then the sun bakes the sand dry. Depending on the type of sand, the crust can get pretty thick. 

Of course bunker sand gets easier to deal with as the green fees get higher. 

 

Edited by Patch

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I prefer firm, but most of what I play is too firm, as in like concrete. There are many times I'll putt out of them. Sometimes I won't even hit out of them because there's rocks everywhere.

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I voted medium and too firm. There are exceptions, but most of the bunkers I play out of are wet and packed down, the type of sand where you try to rake it and all you're doing is drawing lines.

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27 minutes ago, billchao said:

I voted medium and too firm. There are exceptions, but most of the bunkers I play out of are wet and packed down, the type of sand where you try to rake it and all you're doing is drawing lines.

That's what I am facing too, a majority of the time. The rest of the time, the sand is too fluffy and I have no idea how to handle it... Needless to say, greenside bunker play is not my forte!

Edited by sjduffers
Typo

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I'd prefer soft but most of the bunkers i play out of are like concrete especially during winter with the rain we've been having.

If we are playing a fun round and the bunkers are really hard we agree to drop out of the bunker just to save our wrists from injury.

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I prefer soft bunkers but find many that are too firm for my liking.

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Firm sand is the best because it's the easiest to control the ball flight, it's the most predictable, etc.

I don't mean firm like 1/4" of sand and then the concrete-like lining, but a good firm sand, with a nice base beats a fluffy bunker every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Fluffy bunkers are favored by people with poor bunker technique, in my experience, because they can just shove the club down 4" behind the ball and it'll come out "okay."

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Voted - prefer firm, our bunkers have been re-worked and presently are over filled.
This leads to deep sand around the perimeter when they rake and maintain the bunkers.
Any shot which lands in or near the bunkers usually ends up plugged or near and against the lips.
Deep bunkers are typically designed to have a ball roll towards the center, when they have too much sand it leaves a player with an impossible play.

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56 minutes ago, iacas said:

Firm sand is the best because it's the easiest to control the ball flight, it's the most predictable, etc.

I don't mean firm like 1/4" of sand and then the concrete-like lining, but a good firm sand, with a nice base beats a fluffy bunker every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

I think maybe what I consider medium is what you consider firm. What I consider firm borders on unplayable.

A little OT, but I hate when bunker conditions are inconsistent.

1 hour ago, iacas said:

Fluffy bunkers are favored by people with poor bunker technique, in my experience, because they can just shove the club down 4" behind the ball and it'll come out "okay."

I honestly don't think about my bunker technique much. It probably needs work but I never practice it. When I'm in a bunker I'm mostly just trying to get it out and onto the green; I'm not really thinking about flight and spin, etc.

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20 minutes ago, billchao said:

I think maybe what I consider medium is what you consider firm. What I consider firm borders on unplayable.

Well that's kinda dumb, no? Why would you think I'd have a poll option that is "unplayable"? If "firm" == "unplayable" then by extension "soft" probably == "unplayable" too and everyone should vote "medium." That'd be a dumb poll, no? :-)

Firm is like most PGA Tour bunkers. Very playable. The most playable, IMO.

20 minutes ago, billchao said:

A little OT, but I hate when bunker conditions are inconsistent.

I don't, really… they're hazards. They're supposed to be difficult. I wish they were inconsistent on the PGA Tour, in fact. They don't play like hazards to them.

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I once played in new, soft beach sand - that is tough - everything is a fried egg. I'm not certain what to call sand, but I call one type, river sand, and another type, beach sand. I prefer beach sand that has settled or what one would call firmish. River sand is typically thin and firm, and while easier to get the ball through, it is sometimes easier to hit club first because it has less "give" because the surface is fairly thin.

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I love kind of fluffy sugar type sand Love it. I just feel like i can play more types of shots out of soft sand than firm. I can chunk and run it, or catch it a little shallow and spin it just as easily out of soft sand, IMO. With firmer sand it seems like i dont get as predictable releases as i do out of softer sand. 

But then again, i get more horrendous lies in soft sand than i do medium or firm. So i guess its all a wash in the end. 

Edited by Groucho Valentine

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