Golf sand bunker, used as a depression near the green or fairway that is usually filled with sand. It is difficult to hit the ball out of the bunker and to enter it is therefore considered punitive to a golfer who misses the target with the previous shot. A club called a “sand wedge” is designed for extracting the ball from a bunker, a process requiring well-developed skills. After a player is done using the bunker, it is the job of either the player or that player’s caddie to rake the area of the sand disturbed during play. Specific rules of golf govern play from a bunker. For example, a player may not ground one’s club in a bunker; that is, the club cannot touch the ground before the swing.
There are three types of bunkers used in golf course architecture and all are designed to be impediments to the golfer’s progress toward the green. Fairway bunkers are designed primarily to gather up wayward tee shots on par 4 and par 5 holes; they are located to the sides of the fairway or even in the middle of the fairway. Greenside bunkers are designed to collect wayward approach shots on long holes and tee shots on par 3 holes; they are located near and around the green. Waste bunkers are natural golf sand areas, usually very large and often found on links courses; they are not considered hazards according to the rules of golf, and so, unlike in fairway or greenside bunkers, golfers are permitted to ground a club lightly in, or remove loose impediments from, the area around the ball.
Sand bunkers remain one of the most important concerns for golf course superintendents, and like greens conditions, they’re controversial. Most of the issue is with golfers, who tend to view sand as too soft, hard, wet, dry, or inconsistent. The amount of sand in a bunker also can be an issue. Golfers need to be reminded sand bunkers are a hazard, but at the same time, bunkers need to be a fair hazard.
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