When the sand is hard and compacted

October 10, 2016

This morning when I drove my car out of my garage and head forward to my favourite golf site, the weather forecast on my radio said that it was going to rain and the rain would not stop until this weekend. What a bad weather for playing golf or any outdoor sports. I am thinking about heading to some indoor golf grounds so that I can avoid this crazy weather. When driving back I was thinking of all the times when I went to golf fields after a rain and the field looked like somebody’s hair after washing.

The worst part is the bunkers where the sand got thicker, harder and compacted with water. The surface was also crusty sometimes and these all are nightmare to golf players. No one wants to play in this condition and they know that most of the time when they hit their ball to the bunkers, it will be a dead end for them. Because of this, I really want to share with you some of my experiences on how to deal with this and I hope these can help. 

Sometimes, when you enter these condensed bunkers, you only want to use your hand to pick up your ball and throw it to the hole. It sounds so much easier and more convenient. However, it only happens in your dream and the smartest thing you should do is to forget your sand wedge and take out your lob wedge for these hits. I try it whenever I get thick sand and it helps most of the time. But anyone knows why the lob wedge is better than the sand wedge in these cases? I know them, fortunately and I am going to share with you right now. 

hard sand

The unique design

Of course, the sand wedge and the lob wedge have different design and therefore they have different function and can perform different tasks.

A sand wedge is designed specially with quite a lot of bounce. What are the bounce about? Why do they need that much of bounce on a sand wedge. Let me explain to you how these bounce work. In normal weather, when there is no rain and the sand is dry and soft. The club head will dig into the sand under the ball and in these cases, the bounce help the club head to go out of the sand easily instead of getting stuck into the sand. This allows the ball to be hit fast, strong and go far. If there is not this much of bounce, it can do the same things. But when it is rainy and there are enough water for the sand to become compacted, these bounce turn to be another obstacle. In this case, the bounce keeps the club head from digging into the sand and as a result, the blade of the club head hit the ball. This is what we call a blading shot. Amateurs usually get these shots and as a result their ball can not go far. Sometimes the ball stop one or two foot and land right into the same bunker. What a nightmare for a golfer. So if you are heading to a golf course under the rain then this is what you have to bear in your mind. A sand wedge or any club with too much of bounce are not suitable for hard and thick surface. This is not applied only for sand but also to other kinds of surface. 

hard sand(1)

The lob wedges

What a lob wedge has that is more advanced than a sand wedge in dealing with hard and thick surfaces. I will give you a detail explanation below on its design and how it works.


First of all, the lob wedge I am using has less bounce then my other sand wedge. This is the first thing to come into the comparison. For example, my sand wedge has 10 something degrees of bounce and on the other hand, my lob wedge has only four of it which is not much. As a result of this, when I hit the lob wedge into a sand trap, the club head does not bounce at all and it digs right into the sand and I hit a very good shot at that moment. The club head goes right into the sand like cutting butter. And of course, I do not blade any of my ball in this case.

A lob wedge may not be a good choice for average golf player because it may cause flat shots. But it works perfectly for hard and thick surfaces. One more thing you should do next time when you are at a bunker it to test the sand with your feet to see if it is soft enough for a sand wedge. You should not be lazy and not to change the club because it might lose you some good shots.


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