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Thin Bunker Assistance

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I need some help in these thin Arizona bunkers. I am always amazed how the standard bunker shot becomes simple whenever I travel out of state and find nice sand. Where I struggle is here at home. Even the better Phoenix courses are thin In the bottoms with coarse sand. You are generally forced to chop the ball out. Sounds doable, however we have many deep bunkers with pretty steep faces which makes the chop not an option unless you go out backwards. The flop shot works, but you have to hit perfectly which makes consistency an issue. So, the question is, what would be the proper technique to get a high soft shot off of a thin lie in a green side bunker?

 

Thanks


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Hardpan in the sand, close the face, choke down and swing easy.

 

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Doesn't the closed face equal low launch? I am talking a deep face and don't want to drill it in the face and be hitting from the sand again.


Driver: Ping G25 10.5 degrees, Tour S-flex

5 Wood - Ping G25 18 degrees, 3 wood shaft, Tour S-flex

7 Wood- Ping G25 21 degrees, Tour S-flex

Hybrid - Ping G25 23 degrees, Tour S-flex

4 iron - Ping G2, Z-Z65 shaft, white dot

PW - 5 iron- Ping I3, Z-Z65 shaft, white dot

56/60 degree - Ping M/B wedge, Z-Z65 shaft, white dot

All with I3 gold gripsPutter - Nike Core Method Drone 44†(aka “The Assassin).

Golf Ball - Pro VI

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Honestly, you are just going to have to practice the flop shot. Open face, swing hard, and hit behind the ball.

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Mizuno MP-18 MMC FLI-HI 2 iron UST Mamiya Recoil 95 stiff

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I need some help in these thin Arizona bunkers. I am always amazed how the standard bunker shot becomes simple whenever I travel out of state and find nice sand. Where I struggle is here at home. Even the better Phoenix courses are thin In the bottoms with coarse sand. You are generally forced to chop the ball out. Sounds doable, however we have many deep bunkers with pretty steep faces which makes the chop not an option unless you go out backwards. The flop shot works, but you have to hit perfectly which makes consistency an issue. So, the question is, what would be the proper technique to get a high soft shot off of a thin lie in a green side bunker?

 

Thanks

What club do you currently use? if it's a SW then I suggest a lob wedge or opening up a PW as both have sharper leading edges and will cut thru that coarse sand better. Opening the face uses more bounce so you shouldn't dig in, which is what could happen using a PW without opening it up.

 

Try it, you'll be pleasantly surprised.

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Doesn't the closed face equal low launch? I am talking a deep face and don't want to drill it in the face and be hitting from the sand again.

If you open up the face you'll blade the shot from hardpan.

 

You'll need to get the lowest bounce wedge you can find from those conditions btw. If your wedge has a higher bounce, change it out. Basically you want a sharpe knife for those shots, and the lowest bounce wedge you can find will do.

 

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A club I belonged to many years ago at one time had "thin" bunkers. There was probably about 1/4" of sand before hardpan So, I developed a high-spinning shot whereby I used a 58-60 degree wedge that had very little bounce. I was able to actually slice right under the ball. I would lay it wide open and swing fairly hard. It was a dangerous shot but I got pretty good at it. The ball would come out with an incredible amount of spin but with very little roll. That's the good news - bad news. Distance control was hard too. But I was out. Some guys putted it out. It was that bad.

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If you open up the face you'll blade the shot from hardpan.

 

You'll need to get the lowest bounce wedge you can find from those conditions btw. If your wedge has a higher bounce, change it out. Basically you want a sharpe knife for those shots, and the lowest bounce wedge you can find will do.

 

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This, this and this.

 

 

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A club I belonged to many years ago at one time had "thin" bunkers. There was probably about 1/4" of sand before hardpan So, I developed a high-spinning shot whereby I used a 58-60 degree wedge that had very little bounce. I was able to actually slice right under the ball. I would lay it wide open and swing fairly hard. It was a dangerous shot but I got pretty good at it. The ball would come out with an incredible amount of spin but with very little roll. That's the good news - bad news. Distance control was hard too. But I was out. Some guys putted it out. It was that bad.

This is the only way to hit that shot with any consistency. It is a very handsy shot

 

 

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A lot of what is being said in here is right. My home course has had hard/wet sand all year. I used to use a 58° with 12° of bounce before in bunkers with normal sand with great success. In these hard bunkers I started launching the balls over the green even trying to keep the face square and taking shorter swings. I picked up a 60° with 9° of bounce halfway through the year and it has been great. I can just take it and square up the face and take half of a normal swing I would take in the bunker. It's automatic now

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With ample sand, I always laid open a stronger wedge because my most lofted wedge always had the least bounce--practically none, in fact.

Or,  I used a dedicated sand iron instead of a turf-playable wedge..

 

In hard bunkers, the very low bounce wedges seem to work well. 

Play the ball forward so it jumps straight up in the air, but follow through,  don't stab..

Hitting it close is another matter.

As long as I played my next stroke with a putter, I considered my sand shot a success.

 

 


 

 

 

 

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I live in Vegas where the bunkers are the same. A lot of time you cant even rake the bunker because it doesnt do anything. I have an extra spot in the bag that I though would be a good idea to get a low bounce wedge specifically for bunkers. Is there such thing as too little bounce for this scenario? The new RTX-4 wedges have an option for 58* or 60* with 3* of bounce. Would that be better than say a 62* with 6* of bounce? 


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Wood(s)- :ping-small:  G400 5 Wood 17.5*/ 7 Wood 20.5* Alta CB Stiff

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19 hours ago, patrickleeleep said:

 Is there such thing as too little bounce for this scenario?

There used to be a wedge called the Black Widow which had negative bounce. The trailing edge was actually above rather than below the leading edge. 

If you played the ball back in your stance, the club would dig in and either the shaft or you would break as the club head dug deeply into the ground.  If you played the ball forward, however, you could hit high pitches from the cart path, complete with sparks.

black widow wedge.jpg

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On 9/29/2018 at 12:07 PM, GSwag said:

If you open up the face you'll blade the shot from hardpan.

 

You'll need to get the lowest bounce wedge you can find from those conditions btw. If your wedge has a higher bounce, change it out. Basically you want a sharpe knife for those shots, and the lowest bounce wedge you can find will do.

 

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Exactly--- Down here the traps frankly suck they will be inconsistent from trap to trap even on the same hole. For those shots like the OP posted I use my VIP PW you can not get less bounce or a sharper edge than that. I have been playing golf long enough I know how to manipulate it to get the loft at what I need. Back when I played comp depending on the course and traps I would sometimes carry a old Hogan Sure Out which has a huge flange. As SOP for me I only carry 12 clubs so that leaves room. I used that Sure Out only in real fluffy traps and certain lies in the rough. I will note this was the days before the groove ban BS now that Sure Out is non conforming in comp to the 2010 groove rules. Not that I care because I do not play comp any more but there are plenty of companies that make conforming high bounce big flanged wedges these days


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I'd love to have some thin bunkers. They're great to slide my 58* wedge under. Just a smooth swing. I find golfers in general often swing too hard with too long of a swing in bunkers...often trying to hit behind the ball and dig to China.

 

Pick a spot a half inch behind the ball. Keep the face square. Take a nice short back swing and smooth through. If our bunkers and courses weren't frozen, I'd do a video. I'm sure there are some on YouTube.

 

*Edit* Here's a decent video I found

 

 

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