Here are 2 ways to improve bunker play
The Rules of Golf treat bunkers the same way that they treat water hazards. The general definition of hazard is “an agent with the potential to cause harm to a vulnerable target.” Doesn't logic follow that a bunker should have a penalty, and that penalty should be somewhat in line with those imposed by a water hazard? (“Bunker-busting strategy would help golf,” Nov. 1).
Brooks Koepka probably won this year's U.S. Open by purposely hitting his second shot on the par-3 11th hole into a bunker. He got it up-and-down for bogey. Do you think if that bunker were a pond that he would have purposely hit into that hazard?
The touring pros have, for the most part, mastered bunker play. There probably are ways to contour the bunkers and move the sand so that all of their balls don't feed down to a flat spot. That would make it somewhat more difficult. The courses we play could do the opposite and maintain the bunkers so that everything settles onto a flat spot.
I see two suggestions for those who can't get out of bunkers and think they should be eliminated: 1) treat that bunker the same as you would a water hazard and move it out with a one-stroke penalty, or 2) see your PGA professional for a lesson and practice what he/she teaches you.
Muni players face different reality in bunkers
I enjoyed your piece on changing greenside bunkers (“Bunker-busting strategy would help golf,” Nov. 1).
However, as a muni player in Northern California, I rate bunkers as one of my pet peeves. Many of the courses which I play do not have “perfect” bunkers. They are frequently just hard-pan dirt with about a a quarter-inch of loose … something. They require a totally different sort of stroke, which I, more often than not, do not get right. The ones that do have sand are not very deep. Sometimes you can get a club underneath the ball.
Everyone who writes about golf or makes instructional videos always ignores this fact of life for those of us who play courses that don’t cost $50-$100 to play.
Grass bunkers would not be throwaway hazards
Eliminating sand bunkers and making them grass bunkers would speed up play for amateurs (“Bunker-busting strategy would help golf,” Nov. 1). How many times have I witnessed from the fairway a player hit three sand-bunker shots and then throw the ball onto the green. With grass, that would be reduced to one or, at most, two.
Hilton Head Island, S.C.
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