How to Play Varying Sand Conditions

In this article on the topic of playing in varying sand conditions, we wanted to make a few points.

  • Ask the pro shop. Something as simple as asking in the pro shop before your round about the condition of the bunkers can go a long way toward helping your performance. If you have never played the course before, ask a few questions of the staff in the pro shop so you have an idea what to expect. In addition to the usual questions about green speed and which tees to pick, also inquire about the condition of the bunkers. You may be able to pick up a tip or two which will be helpful once your round gets underway.
  • Build trust in a single club. It is okay to use different clubs from time to time in greenside bunkers, depending on the type of shot you need to produce. However, for the majority of your shots, you should stick with your sand wedge. There is something to be said for the benefit of consistency here, as you will get more and more comfortable with how this club performs when used in the sand. You can’t control the condition of the bunkers you encounter, but you can keep your club constant – meaning you will have taken one variable out of the equation.
  • Be a good example. This last point doesn’t have anything to do with playing good bunker shots, but it does relate to what you need to do after you play your shot. That is, you need to take a moment to rake the bunker properly. If you expect to find the bunkers in good condition when your ball lands in one, you should do your part to keep them that way for those coming behind you. Get into the habit of always raking the bunker after you play your shot and you will be a good example for others on the course.

Changing sand conditions are just one of many challenges you will have to overcome on your way to posting good scores in this game. Some days, you’ll be fortunate and you will find excellent sand conditions in each bunker you have to deal with. On other days, however, the sand will be pretty challenging and it might be tough to even get out in a single swing. We hope our advice will help you adjust effectively to the sand conditions you find during upcoming rounds. Good luck!