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How to hit bunker shots from wet sand

How to hit bunker shots from wet sand

How to hit bunker shots from wet sand

How to hit bunker shots from wet sand

I think you will agree with me, when I say that bunker shots from wet sand (wet=hard and compressed) can be a tough shot to succeed with. Most of the time you might be blading it, but in the following I will teach you 2 very simple and easy to do solutions for this shot. One of the solutions will give you a nice high trajectory out of the wet and hard sand, the other solution will give you a lower flight.

How to hit bunker shots from wet sand

We’ve got to know the issue to understand the solution

Before you learn the solution to this shot, you need to understand what the real problem is. Look at the picture below. The ball is located in a bunker with really wet AND by that also really hard sand.

Bunker shots wet sand

If you place the clubhead as you normally would in a bunker with a very open clubface, look what has happened to the leading edge of the club. It is very close to the equator of the ball, and if no changes are made, this leading edge will probably never make it underneath the balls equator, which will result in the ball flying over the green. So the problem is to make sure that the leading edge of the club makes it underneath the balls equator.

2 simple solutions that you need to know

Luckily the solution is not that complicated. You have two choices, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. Which one you choose depends on the specific situation you face on the course, and also which solution you are most comfortable with. Both techniques does require wet AND hard/compressed sand. If the sand is wet and fluffy because somebody has raked the wet sand then these solutions will do you no good.

1. The powerful solution for higher shots

The first solution will result in a high trajectory out of the wet sand, which in some cases is to prefer in a greenside bunker, because of the pin position and green design. This solution does take a little bit of power and strength. Most men would be able to pull it of without problems, but it can be harder for some women.

This shot is played with an OPEN clubface at setup, which will give the high trajectory.

What you need to do in your setup:

-You need to place the ball a little further back in the stance than you would for a usual greenside bunker shot. It should be placed just underneath or slighty back of the sternum.

-You also need to put a little more weight on the front foot than usual. You sould fell about 65-75% of the weight on the front foot.

setup bunker shots wet sand

Both of these changes will make the club come down to the ball on a steeper angle than usual (the Attack Angle will be steeper). This will dig the club further down under the ball, which we need because of the open clubface (see picture 1 for demonstration). Two more things can be done to ensure this:

What you can feel in your swing for extra steepness:

-In the downswing, make sure to hold the angle in your wrist a little longer than usual. Feel like you are swinging the club more straight down towards the sand.

-Hit the shot with quite a lot of clubspeed.

These 2 above swing-feelings will add some extra power and steepenes to you swing, and this will again dig the club further down under the ball, even though the clubface is wide open.

Swing feelings bunker shot wet sand

2. The easy solution that everyone can do

If the above-mentioned solution sounds a bit to hard to pull of, or if you are facing a shot that doesn’t require a high flight, then you can try out the following technique. As before, his technique does requires wet AND hard/compressed sand. If the sand is wet and fluffy because somebody has raked the wet sand then this solution will do you no good. This solutions will give you a lower and more running / releasing shot.

It’s easier than you’ve imagined!

All you need to do is hit a very basic, mid trajectory chip-shot (check the 9 best chipping tips to learn this shot). If this is done correctly the club should glide under the ball as it would for a normal chip from grass. You do need to deliver the club in the correct impact position and in the right way, otherwise you are not going to be successful.

What you need to do:

-Place yourself in your normal chipping-setup. The key is the shaft alignment seen from the front view. It should be close to vertical or only be leaning slightly forward (see picture). This will ensure exposure of the bounce.

-Keep the clubface fairly square or just a fraction open.

-Hit a normal chip shot from here. Be sure to deliver the club with minimal shaft-lean at impact.

-Keep you arms and body relax, and make sure to turn and extend you body in the downswing and follow-through.

Why will this work?

A basic chip shot will work very well from the wet and compressed sand, due to two things. Firstly the leading edge is closer the ground with a more square face. This will ensure that the leading edge will make contact with the ball below the equator of the ball (see picture below).

Secondly your wedge is equipped with an angle called the bounce. This angle will help the club glide over the sand instead of digging into the ground. If you struggle with a basic chip shot, I would highly recommend you to read the 9 best chipping tips before you try this technique in a bunker.

How it will look when you pull of the shots

You have now learned 2 techniques on how to hit a bunker shot from wet sand! The following video will show you what the techniques looks like when they are taking them to the golf course.

Well done!

You have now learned two ways to hit bunker shots from wet sand (wet=hard and compressed). Try them out the next time you are at your golfclub and the weather has given the bunkers a bit a water.

If you liked the content above, feel free to share the article through the different social platfroms and spread the word about how this shot can be hit! 🙂

Nicolai Cetti Engstrøm

Nicolai Cetti Engstrøm is a PGA Teaching Professional, specialized in the Short Game of golf. He is a former pro-player, National Team player and Danish Junior Champion. He is the creator and owner of the World Of Short Game brand, and co-owner of the biggest golf-teaching company in Denmark, Danish Golf Academy.

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