Hints on Adjusting for Sand Texture

Each and every bunker that you find your way into on the golf course is going to be a little bit different than the next. Sand conditions can vary wildly depending on the shape of the bunker, the weather conditions, the type of sand, and more. To step into a bunker and assume that it will be just like the others you have played from is a mistake that could cost you. If you want to hit great shots from the bunkers and save par more often, you need to understand how to handle various sand textures and what they mean for your shot.

Here are a few hints for making the right adjustments at the right time to hit quality shots from the trap –

  • Swing steeper in fluffy sand. When the sand conditions are soft and beach-like, you will want to attack the ball more steeply so you can dig into the sand and get the ball to float softly up and out of the bunker. A shallow swing is more likely to get stuck in the sand and not provide the ball with enough momentum to come out and onto the green.
  • Shallower in packed sand. When the sand is firmer – like after a good rain – you will want to use that shallow approach and try to slide the club cleanly under the ball. In this case, a steep approach is more likely to get stuck in the sand, while a shallow swing can clip the ball nicely and add some spin to it as well. Note that when using this method, the ball is likely to come out a little quicker than usual, so plan for that in your swing.
  • Use your feet to feel the sand. You can’t dig your club into the sand before you swing, but you can walk into the bunker and wiggle your feet a little bit to get ready to hit. While you are taking your stance, pay attention to how the sand feels under your shoes. By doing this, you can get a good judge on the density and volume of the sand that you are going to be hitting from. You don’t want to deal with any surprises on your bunker shots, so the more information you can send from your feet up to your hands, the better off you will be.