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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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52 minutes ago, boogielicious said:

I prefer sand that is medium I guess. I have trouble with real soft, fine sand because I am not as consistent with how far I hit behind the ball. I think soft sand is less forgiving. I work to play a sand shot similar to a pitch shot, but with lower hands as my Evolvr instructors and Erik have taught me. 

My league course has medium sand on the course, but very soft sand in the practice area. My home course has medium sand but no practice area. It's odd, but I never seem to get into the bunkers at my home course. I think I just jinxed myself! :-P

I never practice my bunker technique. There is only one short game practice area near me with bunkers and I didn't go at all this year; my regular courses do not have practice bunkers. I figure it's just pitching with a setup adjustment so I'm covered as long as I keep up with my pitching.

I actually found myself in bunkers more towards the end of the year than I used to and I think it's due to hitting better shots. I'm missing closer to greens and thus ending up inside greenside bunkers instead of having to hit over them.

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1 hour ago, billchao said:

I never practice my bunker technique. 

This is a great post and a reminder. I am fortunate that my practice facility has all the necessary practice areas. The bunker practice areas have great sand, "firmish" as someone said. And I too have been in more greenside bunkers this year. So why in the world don't I practice my approach clubs more and add greenside trap shots? That will be on my list for 2018 when my leg injury heals. Thank again. Regards, -Marv 

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6 hours ago, MarvChamp said:

This is a great post and a reminder. I am fortunate that my practice facility has all the necessary practice areas. The bunker practice areas have great sand, "firmish" as someone said. And I too have been in more greenside bunkers this year. So why in the world don't I practice my approach clubs more and add greenside trap shots? That will be on my list for 2018 when my leg injury heals. Thank again. Regards, -Marv 

Yea, it's a separate facility from the courses I usually play. They do have a 9-hole course and I played it a bunch last year, but not at all this year and I haven't been there at all to practice.

Regardless of the sand condition, I usually have enough skill to get it out and on the green, though I did airmail a couple of greenside bunker shots in recent memory. Like I said, I'm not thinking about getting it close, just looking to be putting on my next shot and if it's close, it's a bonus.

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Yesterday a tournament at Torrequebrada, in the seventies used for Spanish championships. Beautifull course but the bunkers are filled with shiploads of thick sand. If you step into a bunker, your feet sink 2 inches, if you rake, it is impossible not to rake a load of sand with you. I hate these bunkers. Every time I was in a bunker I could not get out. I scored 20 Stableford points, every bunker was a no-score, had also two balls deep in the sand. :angry:

@iacas how do you play out of a bunker filled with too much (way too much) thick sand?

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From course to course and region to region, bunkers represent the largest inconsistency in golf conditions as I see it.

Example:  Many of the bunkers in and around NE Ohio public courses are, a) rarely in good condition; b) can be a sand and micro pebbly mix; playbox sand; worse.

Then you go to a quality place and the bunkers are raked, in good shape and you catch a pretty good lie most of the time.  That is until you take your swing and find out only the top half inch of the sand is good. Your club bounces off the rock hard base beneath the good sand and blade one over the green and into more trouble.

Played a couple of RTJ golf trail courses last year.  The sand was powder.  More like moist talcom powder than sand.  No idea how to hit from a bunker with very dense, heavy sand.  Left a few in because I'd never played from that type of sand.

Tour pros are fortunate that bunker conditions are consistent from week to week for them.  The rest of us suffer with 'no idea' how the bunkers will behave from round to round.

Remedy?  Stay OUT of the bunkers at all cost.  They are not fair, not in good condition and sand consistency is definitely NOT part of bunker play for most of us.

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12 hours ago, MacDutch said:

@iacas how do you play out of a bunker filled with too much (way too much) thick sand?

The same way as any other bunker shot: by hitting just behind the ball. How thick the sand is can't really affect it much if the ball is in motion well before the club is very far into the sand.

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I voted medium and too hard.  I generally play on cheap Muni courses in Northern Nevada.  The general consensus about the "sand traps" on these courses is that they are dead pan, not sand.  That being said I don't have much experience with legitimate sand traps, so I'd be happy with anything that is actually sand.

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I know @iacas wasn't a fan of the sand at the Newport Cup, but honestly those are my favorite of all the bunkers I've played out of. It could just be the fact that I'm used to rock hard bunkers in Colorado with dirt instead of sand most of the time, but having actual sand was fantastic. It did reduce the amount of spin that you could easily get out of the bunkers slightly, but it made it so much easier to just kind of float the ball out of the bunker with a nice cushion of sand underneath it. I prefer that type of shot to relying on the spin, though you could still get spin out of the softer bunkers if you were precise.

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Our bunkers were renovated this past year, and they used the same kind of sand used at ANGC. It's kind of hard to explain, but they are firm and soft at the same time. The ball rarely plugs, and the club is easy to get through the sand. The biggest issue is that there are not enough rakes, so a lot of players don't rake the bunkers.

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