How to Escape Wet Sand

By Todd Pyle

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Playing a golf shot from wet sand is different than playing a golf shot from dry sand, especially when the shot your are playing is from a green side bunker. Not only is the technique different, but the effort level to produce a good golf shot is different as well. There is really nothing to fear if you use one or all three of the suggestions below. Once you understand this sand condition, you will have few problems.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
  1. Move carefully. Extracting a golf ball successfully from a green side bunker means there is no direct club face to golf ball contact when playing these shots. The movement of the golf ball is due to the sand being displaced by the golf club and not the contact of the golf ball with the club face.

    When the club head enters into the sand, the sand will begin to slowdown the club head. The important fact to remember is wet sand produces much more resistance to the movement of the club head than does dry sand.
  2. Escaping wet sand successfully takes greater club head speed. The club head physically needs more speed to displace the wet sand in order to move the golf ball.
  3. Swing the golf club on a more shallow path through the sand. This will minimize the amount of sand the club head encounters and lessen the drag effect the wet sand has on the club. Visualize the club head moving more horizontally with the sand versus vertically down into the sand.
  4. Splash the club head through the sand using the bounce that is provided on the golf club. The bounce is the amount of flange, the thick sole of the club, that helps keep the club from digging too deep into the sand. Most sand wedges provide ample amount of bounce.

    Utilize the maximum amount of bounce by opening the club face so it appears to be pointing well right of the target (for right-handed players). Once the club face is open, then take a normal grip. The more the club face is open, the more exposed the bounce is to the sand and the less the leading edge of the club face will dig into the sand.
  5. Increased club head speed, shallowness of path and using the bounce provide three important remedies to escape wet sand in a green side bunker.

About the Author

Todd Pyle is the founder and president of New Millennium Golf. He has 24 years of experience as a professional golfer and 17 years as a Class A PGA Professional. He was a David Leadbetter Golf Academy Director in Ireland and Atlanta and taught with Jim Flick and the ESPN Golf Schools.