As I started to practice again at the driving range I was starting to think that my game would come back fast. And while driving away with TaylorMade driver, Ping irons or Ping putter the one thing I had neglected was bunker play. On my first practice round on one of my approach shots I somehow managed to place my ball in the bunker around the green. And all of a sudden I tried to remember everything I had learned about getting my ball out of the sand. And my first shots were horrific. Flying over the green, missing the ball. But slowly the lessons returned. Plant your feet. Aim a couple inches behind the ball. Make a full swing. By the time I played this week I was able to get out of a bunker in a relatively decent manner with my trusty Ping sand wedge.
The reason all of this sticks in my head was something I noticed at the US Senior Open as caddies cleaned up after their player. I normally pick up the rake, reach over the hole and pull the sand towards me. But to my surprise the caddies started with the rake at their feet and pushed sand into the hole. Then they reached over the partially filled hole and raked the sand smooth leaving a really even surface for the next visitor. I think it’s just another way of being considerate when playing golf. Like pulling the flag for the rest of the group if you’re closest to the pin. And now you’ve learned from the pro’s how to be thoughtful when leaving a bunker.