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Covid hard pan sand traps?

 FakeClubPro ·  
FakeClubProFakeClubPro Members  193WRX Points: 82Posts: 193 Fairways
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I have been playing in Florida at two of the local munis that are above average munis. We have been getting lots of rain this summer. The sand traps are all like concrete because of the rain and no rakes.

I know expensive private clubs probably have fluffy sand. Pre-Covid due the greens people usually rake the traps?

When I hit it in these hard pan sand trap I just groan.

Anyone else encountering hard pan sand traps around the country?

I like 1 person per cart and keeping the flag in the hole due to Covid, but what's up with the sand traps?



  • Leftlove94Leftlove94 Members  86WRX Points: 35Posts: 86 Fairways
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    I grew up on hard sand so it’s not a big deal to me, but yes every course I’ve played has it. Most courses/people I play with are allowing “preferred lie” in the bunkers since they’re already bad.

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  • ProStrykerProStryker Zombie Hunter Members  544WRX Points: 95Posts: 544 Golden Tee
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    We are raking the sand with our feet, and placing the ball on a decent lie due to COVID.

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  • Mikey5eMikey5e ohioUnregistered  1441WRX Points: 374Handicap: 15Posts: 1,441 Platinum Tees
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    I think this is the common, preferred way of dealing with sand traps during these times.

  • FakeClubProFakeClubPro Members  193WRX Points: 82Posts: 193 Fairways
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    Did most munis and private clubs have the greens keepers rake the traps regularly? I know some places are cheap and do not refresh the sand. It might rain hard and a lot of the new sand gets washed away.

    I know one of the tricks is to use a PW or 9 iron with no bounce and sharper edge.

  • Mikey5eMikey5e ohioUnregistered  1441WRX Points: 374Handicap: 15Posts: 1,441 Platinum Tees
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    Probably like most courses, they'll rake it at the end of the day or beginning of the day and people will just have to deal with it because there are no rakes. You get a free drop out of a footprint but the drop might result in sort of a fried egg lie.

  • Warrior42111Warrior42111 FloridaMembers  533WRX Points: 317Handicap: 19Posts: 533 Golden Tee
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    Also in FL, and this is common yearly in the summer (rainy season). Most courses I've seen will replenish the sand in the fall before the busy season, and after the rain so they don't lose half the sand they bought due to rain. I honestly re did my wedge configuration. A high bounce sand wedge for the fluffy stuff, and a low bounce lob for the hard stuff.

    I say most people would rake traps when a rake is provided from what I've seen. (note I play mostly nice public courses.


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  • dlygrissedlygrisse KansasMembers  13983WRX Points: 1,535Handicap: 8-ishPosts: 13,983 Titanium Tees
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    Rake and place is how we have been doing it.

    Learning to hit a bunker shot from hard packed sand is a nice skill to learn however. :) I would recommend not opening the face as much, you don't want as much bounce, play it more like a standard pitch shot with a square to slightly open face, don't quit on the swing, but you wont need quite as much effort, the ball if hit properly should spin a lot.

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  • nk_716nk_716 Members  6WRX Points: 12Posts: 6 Bunkers
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    The other night I was playing with my father-in-law at favorite course. It's a public course in NY but very well maintained for the 27 holes they have. The first time I was there this year (early COVID) all the bunkers were hard pan and very rocky. Last Friday with my father-in-law I made a comment on how much the bunkers had improved. Nice fluffy sand, looked easy to hit out of. Very next tee shot, a par 3, I went left of the green and put myself in a fried-egg bunker lie. Words came back to haunt me!

  • smashdnsmashdn Let's cut them trees down. Members  2645WRX Points: 1,046Posts: 2,645 Titanium Tees
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    They not taking a sand pro through them at some point? None of the courses I play hand rake the bunkers save for the lips where they can't get a sand pro up there. No issues. Smooth it out with your foot after playing out of it.

  • LeoLeo99LeoLeo99 Members  5162WRX Points: 917Posts: 5,162 Titanium Tees
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    Good tip. It's very difficult to try and blast out of hardpan.

  • Bonneville85308Bonneville85308 Members  1910WRX Points: 278Posts: 1,910 Platinum Tees
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    I would think the hard pan issue is more related to the course maintenance staff not occasionally tilling up the sand with a machine rake rather than related to golfers not using hand rakes after hitting shots.

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  • hammergolfhammergolf St. LouisMembers  648WRX Points: 313Handicap: 3Posts: 648 Golden Tee
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    All of our courses in this area have made a local rule calling all bunkers as GUR.

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  • SoILgolferSoILgolfer Members  80WRX Points: 17Handicap: 3Posts: 80 Fairways
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    We’ve been playing ours case by case. If we can make a reasonable lie we’ll play out of them. If not we’re treating them like GUR.

  • RoodyRoody A little gust, Romes Rochester, NYMembers  1315WRX Points: 359Handicap: 5.1Posts: 1,315 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  edited Jul 28, 2020 12:51pm #15

    I belong to a private course, and last year they began renovating and fixing a few of the bunkers. Before covid hit this year they had planned on renovating more of them, but decided against it. Covid has made things more difficult in a financial sense.

    But I'd rather deal with some sketchy bunkers than the club struggling to stay afloat.

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  • smashdnsmashdn Let's cut them trees down. Members  2645WRX Points: 1,046Posts: 2,645 Titanium Tees
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    Rakes are back out (at one course anyway) around here.

  • golfdaygolfday Members  35WRX Points: 81Handicap: 3Posts: 35 Bunkers
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    I'm taking it case by case, course by course.

    Some places have completely given up on maintaining their bunkers and they are completely washed out. No sand, you may see the tarp normally underneath the sand, and there are basically mini ravines/ditches from where rain water is creating drainage areas. Some of those bunkers are to the point that I view them as ground under repair at this point.

    Other places are maintaining their bunkers, keeping the sand in shape, maintenance crews give them a rake in the AM, etc. In those I'm playing as it lies unless it's in an obvious footprint (think those elephant tracks where someone really twisted their foot in).

    If I'm playing in a match against someone I'll talk to them upfront how we want to handle it and make it so there are no interpretations needed so we can avoid arguments. A) play all balls down in bunkers B) preferred lies in all bunkers C) treat all bunkers as GUP. I'm mostly going with B, however there is a course in my area that's routed us to C. Once the rakes return we'll be back to A.

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  • ZskiZski Members  23WRX Points: 26Handicap: 4Posts: 23 Bunkers
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    Sand at my course always has been an issue as the local sand is very dense. If no lip I putt out of them it’s that firm

    we used to rake it then play your shot now without rakes it’s basically impossible to play out of the deep bunkers

    ive been considering finding a kids sand box rake to carry in my bag

    this is the single biggest Covid impact IMO

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