A little more on FIRM SAND.
Professionals love wet sand and firm sand. Now at some point that changes from excitement to dismay as it reaches a certain firmness.
No one loves the shots where you are led to believe that the sand is soft enough only to find the club bouncing back up into the golf ball because 1/2 inch under the sand is like BRICK!!!
As the sand gets firmer, or the depth of ‘soft sand’ decreases, the shot begins to get a bit tricky. To some extent, you should be able to make an educated guess as to the depth of the ‘soft sand’ by walking into the bunker and gain a little more info as you ‘take your stance’ by wiggling your feet into the sand.
Golf professionals want to open up the club face a little and SPLASH the sand (and ball) out of the sand. It’s the shot they practice most, it’s the most predictable in terms of distance control and spin, mostly because it matches the DESIGN OF THE CLUB with proper technique.
So the first consideration is: CAN I INTRODUCE THE BOUNCE (SOLE) OF THE CLUB INTO THE SAND ON THIS SHOT? If I lead with the BOUNCE, will it be able to DENT the sand deep enough to get under and stay under the ball???
If the answer is yes, even if a little more DOWNWARD FORCE IS NEEDED, it’s the shot we’ll choose! (*remember, if you need a little more downward force, you’ll also need to manually add a little more rotational force because the downward force will destroy rotational force! It’s rotational motion that keeps the club moving level….)
If my guess is that the thick BOUNCE on my club will not be able to get underneath this ball and STAY underneath the ball…. I then have to use the LEADING EDGE of the club (what I call ‘THE DIGGER’) I’ll deloft the club at address so that the leading edge will be the first thing to hit the sand… ‘THE DIGGER’ will then cut into the sand behind the ball and as long as I’m rotating around the PIVOTAL AXIS (have I mentioned the importance of the pivot???) I should be able to splash the sand and ball out of the bunker.
*****TECHNIQUE/SKILL is extremely important with these shots. You must BUILD YOUR SKILLS OF IMPACT and ROTATION.
*****Any attempt to lift, scoop, strike, or steer will engage the hands and arms and in most cases destroy the shot. You’ll hit the sand too soon, or not at all, and DISASTER will ensue….
*Note, firm sand offers less resistance than soft sand. Therefore, the ball will go further out of firm sand with the same swing energy.
FINAL THOUGHT: If your technique is not getting better, PRACTICE!!! If it still does not improve, see a professional…. In the mean time, I suggest PUTTING OUT of really firm sand, even if you have to go out sideways….