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 Playing from hard sand

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mizzy
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PostSubject: Playing from hard sand   Wed Sep 22, 2010 7:23 pm

I hate playing from the sand. if the sand is soft, i can still splash the sand and get the ball out. i use a slightly steeper swing and shallow follow through.

But if the sand is hard, wet or soft only to a depth of 1cm and packed hard right beneath it, what tricks do you have to get the ball high and out?

Any tips?
Thanks
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BORN2GOLF
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PostSubject: Re: Playing from hard sand   Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:05 pm

use your sand wedge bounce to your advantage,the bounce is there for a reason,to get you out of sand traps. one pro once told me just to keep everything simple and let the bounce do the work for you in the sand. remember this :

soft sand - open your club face to the MAX and i mean really to the max until your clubface is poiinting straight up to the sky and this is to prevent you from DIGGING because the sand is soft,digging comes very often and you will end up leaving your ball still in the trap when you dig...

hard sand - leave your club face in between the open to the max and square,so in between the two will be ideal and same thing...

one thing to remember in bunker is to avoid STEEP SWING,when you are too steep,tendency will be to dig down and got stuck in the sand...where as a shallower swing will allows you to slide underneath the ball and through using the bounce...

use youtube or whatever sources you can to get video tips from guys like Gary Player or Ernie Els.somehow the South Africans are known to be better bunker players on tour...Smile
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BORN2GOLF
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PostSubject: Re: Playing from hard sand   Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:07 pm

oh by the way,that is just what i received from a pro and always kept that in mind and just in my humble opinion, i think he made some very good points. but again, there's not right or wrong as golfers always develop their own ways within their comfort zone to get things done on course...thats the beauty of golf...Smile
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ghoonk
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PostSubject: Re: Playing from hard sand   Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:20 pm

Here's my bunker trick (hey, if you can't trust a useless golfer in the middle of the desert to give tips on sand play, who can you trust, right? HAHAHA)

1. when playing from fairway bunkers, regardless of hard or soft sand, swing smooth, swing easy and just clip the ball. The harder you swing, the more sand you're going to take with you, and that's not what you want out of a fairway or long greenside bunker. This tip has helped me be pretty effective from bunkers 50-120 yards off the green

2. when playing from greenside bunker, don't chicken out. grow a pair and go for it. In my case, every time I try to get cute and open the face, I end up clipping the ball and send it off the green. Now I just keep the face square, grip it and rip it and get a good amount of sand to carry the ball out.

Recently, given that my game has gone to hell with the new swing, I've started getting cute in bunkers, taking gentle quarter swings to clip the ball and getting it to bit better when it hits the green, and notice that trick is better with firmer sand, but if your hands are soft, you'll get away with this on anything Smile
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mizzy
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PostSubject: Re: Playing from hard sand   Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:22 pm

@Born2golf, thanks for the tips. i employ all of that right now. i use a shallow swing on the up slope lies. works every time.

but none of these techniques work on the hard sand i describe.
an old golfer i know uses a closed club face, and that works very well on plugged lies and sitting up lies.

well courses around here have this hard sand that is a bitch to play out from.


Last edited by mizzy on Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ghoonk
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PostSubject: Re: Playing from hard sand   Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:23 pm

BORN2GOLF wrote:
oh by the way,that is just what i received from a pro and always kept that in mind and just in my humble opinion, i think he made some very good points. but again, there's not right or wrong as golfers always develop their own ways within their comfort zone to get things done on course...thats the beauty of golf...Smile

And that's where I made mistakes - I had a decent bunker game until i put these same tips you mentioned into play. Completely screwed up a good bunker game, and now I need to rebuild that with many hours in the practice bunkers this coming weekend, assuming I don't fall sick
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mizzy
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PostSubject: Re: Playing from hard sand   Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:26 pm

ghoonk, so what was your technique before your bunker play screwed up?
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ghoonk
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PostSubject: Re: Playing from hard sand   Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:29 pm

good questions - i don't know. I just walked into a bunker, ball in center of stance, grip and rip and out it comes. Nothing cute, but it worked.

Then I got cute, started standing with open stance, open clubface and started either taking too much sand (leaving ball stuck in bunker), or clipping it perfectly and sending it 30-40 yards off %^$@$%%@$
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mizzy
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PostSubject: Re: Playing from hard sand   Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:31 pm

hahahahaha... thanks.. i don't have a bunch of different ways to get it done.. just trying to keep it simple too
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mizzy
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PostSubject: Re: Playing from hard sand   Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:39 pm

ghoonk wrote:
Here's my bunker trick (hey, if you can't trust a useless golfer in the middle of the desert to give tips on sand play, who can you trust, right? HAHAHA)

1. when playing from fairway bunkers, regardless of hard or soft sand, swing smooth, swing easy and just clip the ball. The harder you swing, the more sand you're going to take with you, and that's not what you want out of a fairway or long greenside bunker. This tip has helped me be pretty effective from bunkers 50-120 yards off the green

2. when playing from greenside bunker, don't chicken out. grow a pair and go for it. In my case, every time I try to get cute and open the face, I end up clipping the ball and send it off the green. Now I just keep the face square, grip it and rip it and get a good amount of sand to carry the ball out.

Recently, given that my game has gone to hell with the new swing, I've started getting cute in bunkers, taking gentle quarter swings to clip the ball and getting it to bit better when it hits the green, and notice that trick is better with firmer sand, but if your hands are soft, you'll get away with this on anything Smile

yes i like that soft hands part.. worked for me once in a while.. but i'm not good enough to be consistent. all good stuff.. keep it coming..
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jimmychoo
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PostSubject: Re: Playing from hard sand   Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:51 pm

On soft sand - Open face work for me on green side bunker after some practice. How much open face control how much distance I want to go with the same committed swing.

On hard sand - I will take lesser sand but this depend on how hard the sand is. Usually I will use my feet to test how hard is the sand before decided how much sand to take.

I think whatever tactic you use will work as long as you practice more. Smile
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mizzy
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PostSubject: Re: Playing from hard sand   Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:58 pm

@jc, good tips.

how much sand to take or how deep to penetrate the sand.. that takes practice ya?
on the same committed swing.. that means the swing speed and attack angle etc remains the same.. just the loft/face angle change ya?
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PostSubject: Re: Playing from hard sand   Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:15 pm

My interpretation of how much sand is the length behing the ball where the club enter the sand and not how deep. One will need to practice more on different bunker condition to really understand it.

You are right on the loft/face angle thingy but please bear in mind this is what I gained from my own practice and experience. Different people may learn different thing and have different view so it's still the same thing - Practice more and it will make you a better bunker player. good putt
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mizzy
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PostSubject: Re: Playing from hard sand   Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:25 pm

@jc, thanks. the length behind the ball.. usually i try to fix it at 0.5 inch behind the ball.. that's the best result i get... but i'm not consistent to do so all the time.. the moment i get more than 1 inch, i know i screwed up the shot.. ball won't come out.
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PostSubject: Re: Playing from hard sand   Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:09 am

I've read of a few different ways to play out of the bunker, and one of the simplest ways is what Ghoonk is employing now, that is play it square and don't get cute. Just get the ball out. There is logic in the square theory, considering that most golfers have outside in swings anyway, so if you play it square from the bunker, it will still be a naturally outside in swing path. No need to exaggerate it any more.

Opening the face doesn't seem to work for a lot of amateur golfers cos we don't trust the club's bounce to do the work, we don't know how to, cos we don't play or practice the shot often enough. We try to help the ball out by scooping so we blade the ball over the green. We look up before we complete the swing, again blading the ball, or we flick at the ball with just the hands, yet again blading the ball, or sticking the clubhead in the sand leaving the ball in the bunker. But most of all, we don't trust our bunker swing enough to accelerate through the sand to a full finish. Most times the swing ends at just the 4 o clock position. We usually have a long backswing and short follow through when it should be the reverse.

Modern instruction teaches that the bunker swing should be executed with a body turn through the shot for more consistent results. What instructors have said is to turn your chest through the bunker shot together with the hands in one motion. Look at the slow mo bunker swing of a pro practicing out of a bunker at the Barclays I have posted under 'swing sequence and videos' for an excellent example. Amazing!



Having said all that mizzy, from hard sand, I've found what works for me since I also have a sometimes work sometimes don't bunker swing, is to clip the ball out from hard sand with a square face or closed face like the old golfer you mentioned, effectively playing a running chip. I find it more reliable than trusting the bounce when the bunker swing is already shakey. It works well too especially since most courses across the causeway have little sand in them anyways, at most just a centimetre or two in some cases, with hard packed clay underneath. Use bounce here, sure die! Bounce the edge into the ball!

The other way no one's mentioned is to putt out of the bunker since the sand is hard. Again, simple to execute, and who says the putter is only to be used on the green? Hard sand is like the ground with no grass, the ball will roll.

Out of the fairway bunkers, I play it differently from Ghoonk. I used to wonder how the pros hit almost full iron shots out of the bunkers. I may not play it the same way since I've never had the chance to ask a pro how it's done, I just discovered it myself by chance. You may not believe it, but I actually HIT DOWN on the ball with full extension, just like off the fairway. I get at least three quarters of my full distance from any iron, hybrid, or up to a five wood on a good swing day. The theory is the same as off the fairway, I am trapping the ball between the face and the sand, compressing it and squirting it out with force. Doesn't matter if it's soft or hard sand, it works. BUT ONLY IF MY IRON FACE CONTACTS THE BALL FIRST. Contact the sand first and most times the end result will be just as if I had played a good greenside bunker shot out to the fairway, which isn't bad anyway by our standards, cos I still got the ball out. Attempting to contact the ball first by hitting down out of the fairway bunker has very big advantages. If i get it right, I get phenomenal distance and it psyches out my playing partners cos they won't expect to see it close to or on the green from way back where I was.

If I top the ball, it still runs like crazy out of the bunker cos I'm hitting down with force and not scooping. If I hit the sand first, it will still only be slightly behind since my intention was ball first and not sand first, and I still get the ball out of the bunker at worst for just 10 metres. Any which way, I'm out of the fairway bunker for a next shot out of grass, I consider it a bonus if I have to pull out the putter.

The only difference I make when I play out of the fairway bunkers is to keep my feet stable and play with a three quarter swing so I don't lose balance, allowing me to apply force to drive through.

Just my way of playing it! Very Happy
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mizzy
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PostSubject: Re: Playing from hard sand   Thu Sep 23, 2010 6:46 am

thanks birdman, must have taken you quite some time to type all that out.
the video is good. but the sand looks alright... not the crappy ones we usually deal with.

now if only the practice greens have the same crappy bunkers we get out there to practice with... i can try out these tips and get consistent with them.. cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Playing from hard sand   Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:36 am

Birdman, agree with you on the outside in swing..... cyclops
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PostSubject: Re: Playing from hard sand   Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:00 am

@ mizzy, most welcome, just sharing. Sand of course good, Sentosa le... Good luck with all the suggestions. Just keep turning your chest through the shot.

@ JC, it complete sense when I read it. Sometimes, what the pros say doesn't apply to us mere mortals since we don't have a pro swing. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Playing from hard sand   Thu Sep 23, 2010 12:38 pm

Birdman wrote:
@ JC, it complete sense when I read it. Sometimes, what the pros say doesn't apply to us mere mortals since we don't have a pro swing. Smile

Don't have to swing like a Pro, look like pro can liao Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Playing from hard sand   Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:05 pm

@birdman. Ur post is a very good read! Thanks for taking the time to write it. Am still trying to digest wat u wrote.
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PostSubject: Re: Playing from hard sand   Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:35 pm

jimmychoo wrote:
Birdman wrote:
@ JC, it complete sense when I read it. Sometimes, what the pros say doesn't apply to us mere mortals since we don't have a pro swing. Smile

Don't have to swing like a Pro, look like pro can liao Laughing

Then first tee lagi more stress when have to expose the swing for all the flights behind to see. Can already hear the muffled "hee hee hees" from behind. Embarassed
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PostSubject: Re: Playing from hard sand   Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:37 pm

nientsu wrote:
@birdman. Ur post is a very good read! Thanks for taking the time to write it. Am still trying to digest wat u wrote.

Nientsu, just my thoughts and what works for me. Ur most welcome, but was it that cheem?
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PostSubject: Re: Playing from hard sand   Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:39 pm

Birdman wrote:
jimmychoo wrote:
Birdman wrote:
@ JC, it complete sense when I read it. Sometimes, what the pros say doesn't apply to us mere mortals since we don't have a pro swing. Smile

Don't have to swing like a Pro, look like pro can liao Laughing

Then first tee lagi more stress when have to expose the swing for all the flights behind to see. Can already hear the muffled "hee hee hees" from behind. Embarassed

Yea....I always hate the first tee off!

Feel so naked, exposing not-so-pro swing for all to see. lol!
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PostSubject: Re: Playing from hard sand   Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:24 pm

Quote :
asahi wrote:
Birdman wrote:
jimmychoo wrote:
Birdman wrote:
@ JC, it complete sense when I read it. Sometimes, what the pros say doesn't apply to us mere mortals since we don't have a pro swing. Smile

Don't have to swing like a Pro, look like pro can liao Laughing

Then first tee lagi more stress when have to expose the swing for all the flights behind to see. Can already hear the muffled "hee hee hees" from behind. Embarassed

Yea....I always hate the first tee off!

Feel so naked, exposing not-so-pro swing for all to see. lol!

Actually I felt very noble in tee-ing off first....coz it gives the flights behind confidence....as in...' you can be worse off that me'

After seeing me, most if not all, will have all butterflies in their stomach...totally removed....
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PostSubject: Re: Playing from hard sand   Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:32 pm

Bro Duval, your 'positive' thinking really tickle me.

Haha.....
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