With some practice, playing a standard explosion shot from a greenside bunker is a pretty easy task.
By opening the face of your wedge, making a big swing, and aiming for a spot a couple inches behind the ball, you can blast the ball out of the sand and onto the green. It might look tricky but many new golfers are surprised to learn that greenside bunker shots are one of the easier parts of the game, at least in good conditions.
The story changes dramatically when the conditions do not fall into the ‘good’ category.
If you find yourself in a bunker with nasty sand conditions for one reason or another, a relatively easy shot can turn difficult – or impossible – in a hurry. This is especially true when we find that our usual soft, fluffy bunker has been packed down from a recent rain.
So if that’s the case, what do you do next? Let’s dive in a bit and find out.
The Problem with Wet Sand
Your feelings on wet sand are going to be greatly influenced by where you find yourself on the golf course. If you are in a fairway bunker, finding wet sand is actually going to be a huge relief.
A hard-packed bunker back in the fairway will make your job easier, as hitting a full shot from this spot isn’t much different than hitting from the grass. However, if that wet sand happens to be in a bunker by the green, you’ll have a whole other kind of challenge on your hands.
As you should already know, playing an explosion shot from a bunker means sending your wedge down deep into the sand, safely under the ball. A large patch of sand is blasted out of the trap, along with the ball, which hopefully lands safely on the green. This is the go-to option when you are in a greenside bunker, and it works beautifully when the sand is soft.
When the sand is hard, however, it doesn’t really work at all. The club isn’t going to dive in the same way it does when the sand is soft, meaning the explosion shot really isn’t an option.