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boogielicious

Practicing Sand/Bunker Shots without Sand

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Is there a way to practice sand shots without sand? I ask this because I can practice pitch shots and chip shots in the winter on mats, but I can't think of a way to simulate sand. I searched this forum and didn't find anything definitive on this subject.

My sand game has gone awry as I have worked mostly on my long game this year. My pitching and chipping has improved because I can work on that hitting in my backyard or into my net. But I have really struggled with sand for the most part.

I've reviewed @mvmac's video below about 30 times this year. I just want to find a way to simulate it so I can work on it this winter.

 

 

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" A sand shot with no sand is not a sand shot.."

" A Danish with holes is a donut"

Hahaha!

I dunno...flops?...maybe go down to the beach??  Revere Beach baby!!

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53 minutes ago, boogielicious said:

My sand game has gone awry as I have worked mostly on my long game this year. My pitching and chipping has improved because I can work on that hitting in my backyard or into my net. But I have really struggled with sand for the most part.

My sand technique is similar enough to my pitching technique that I'm confident mostly practicing the pitching. From there it's more of a setup adjustment that is fairly quick to relearn at a practice bunker in the spring.

I would think if you're spending adequate time on pitching during the winter, you can spend a little bit more time specifically on bunker play in the spring to make up for it, too.

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My flop shots, and sand shots are basically the same. Set ups, and swings are almost identical. Ball position is different. Basically when I hit one, I am practicing the other. 

Difference is I hit closer to the ball with my flop, and when I practice my flops, I use a club with less bounce than my SW. Depending on the lie of the ball of course.

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Scott, the next best thing to actual sand is to use a mat that has simulated 'rough'. Maxfli has the dual surface hitting mat at GG for 35 bucks or something.

In my experience it's a stroke thing than a lie surface type thing. Main thing is to get rid of is fear/apprehension of 'thumping' the bounce with some conviction behind the ball with a steep move and 'leave' the club there. Once you start getting a few balls to float up the surface doesn't matter. I have gotten balls out of washed out bunkers after heavy rains once I started thumping the bounce. 

You can definitely do that with a mat in absence of actual sand.  

P.S. I suggest rolling your right hand up top of your grip (weaken) it quiet a bit. Makes it harder to have 'lifting/scooping' tendency through impact.

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3 hours ago, Typhoon92 said:

" A sand shot with no sand is not a sand shot.."

" A Danish with holes is a donut"

Hahaha!

I dunno...flops?...maybe go down to the beach??  Revere Beach baby!!

Lol! Revere Beach in January! Brrrrrrrr. 

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I am not convinced that practicing bunker shots is the best use of time owing to the frequency (or lack of) you find yourself in a bunker during a typical round. Perhaps a tune up day every once in awhile just to focus on how you do in bunkers is sufficient. I would agree that learning how to correctly use the "thump" with confidence is worthwhile and to rid ones self  of the stigma of it. Kinda like learning to ride a bicycle , once you learn to do it, you simply need not worry about it. 

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14 hours ago, Hacker James said:

I am not convinced that practicing bunker shots is the best use of time owing to the frequency (or lack of) you find yourself in a bunker during a typical round. Perhaps a tune up day every once in awhile just to focus on how you do in bunkers is sufficient.

What makes you think he's not just looking for a way to occasionally practice this? I don't think he's looking to do it even once a week.

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@boogielicious  Fair enough. I only mentioned it because you said you had viewed Mac's video over thirty times and wanted to "work on it through the winter" sounded like a bit more than just a casual priority thing.  In any case, you should always do what you believe suits you best.  Good luck and I am confident that you will work it out.

the using a "rough" mat idea has merit also. Being careful your "thump" does  not turn into a "flyer" lie. I would agree you really need real sand.

Edited by Hacker James

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Just now, phillyk said:

You can practice sand shots in the snow, similar enough 😉

Are there parks around that have sand for the swings or a volleyball court?

I tried snow last year. It didn’t seem to work the same. There is a sand pit in the woods not far from my house. I may check that out. 

I’ve also done the beach near my cottage, but that gets really cold in the winter. 

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8 minutes ago, boogielicious said:

I tried snow last year. It didn’t seem to work the same. There is a sand pit in the woods not far from my house. I may check that out. 

I’ve also done the beach near my cottage, but that gets really cold in the winter. 

I'd guess that heavy snow at around 2in deep would be good.  Obviously very specific, but problem with play sand is that it's very deep and too heavy.  Most bunkers have about 2in of sand above the base.  You could try to take sand from the beach / pit and create your own small bunker somewhere

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On 11/5/2018 at 12:40 PM, boogielicious said:

Is there a way to practice sand shots without sand? I ask this because I can practice pitch shots and chip shots in the winter on mats, but I can't think of a way to simulate sand

Sand play requires multiple technics for the many various situations sand play presents.
With just a mat, place a pillow under a throw rug or carpet to create a variety of different lies.

Bunker play presents long, short, spin or run out shots along with flops when playing.
Use multiple wedges, open the face, close down the face.
Small swings, steep swings, normal pitch shots are often required.

They can all be practiced indoor when using ones imagination.

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