How to Use the Sand to Your Advantage
As a golfer, you are taught to be afraid of the sand from almost your first time on the course. After all, you would rather have your ball on the grass, right? While that is usually the case, it is not always true. There are some occasions on the golf course when the sand isn’t that bad of a place to be – and can actually be used to your advantage.
The following two scenarios are ones in which it is a good idea to consider the sand as the best place to try and put your ball.
Avoiding the Long Rough
Most golf courses are maintained with relatively low rough so that the average golfer doesn’t have too much trouble getting around the course. However, sometimes the rough starts to get a little long and becomes pretty difficult to play from. If that is the case on your course, start to look for the bunkers as a good place to hide from the deep and scary rough.
Obviously, you would rather hit the fairway or the green than the rough or the bunker, but you don’t always have an option. Imagine the following situation – you have hit a poor drive, and your ball rests under some trees. You can hit your next shot toward the green, but it will have to be a low punch shot as the trees are blocking you from hitting a high shot. Instead of aiming at the rough and having the ball run into the long grass, take aim for the greenside bunker and make it your target. If successful, you can avoid the deep grass and have a chance to save your par with a good bunker shot and a nice putt.
Stopping the Ball
Similarly, the sand can work to your advantage when you need to stop the ball going in a direction that it would otherwise run into some water, or out of bounds. If you are going to hit a shot in a direction that might be trouble if the ball runs too far, aim the shot at a bunker to catch the ball and keep in on the course. While it might not be ideal to have your ball finish in the bunker, it is certainly preferable to ending up with a lost golf ball and a penalty stroke added to your scorecard.