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Fluffy vs. Hard Sand- How do you handle? + the "Wow" Course in Indiana

Do you adjust your sand approach?

Welcome to the Friday edition of Wild Golf. Here’s a crazy stat- with last week’s win at The Players, the caddie for Scottie Scheffler (Ted Scott) has made $850,000 in just the last 2 weeks alone. That’s more than Rory McIlroy has made throughout the entire 2024 season ($798,205). You know what they say about proximity to power haha.

In today’s newsletter…

✅ TIPS & DRILLS: Greenside bunker shots are designed to challenge you, but you may be overlooking a key factor in your ability to get up and down- is the sand Dry & Compact or is it Soft & Fluffy? You’ll need to alter your approach dependent upon your assessment. PGA Teaching Pro Neal York makes it incredibly simple below.

✅ COURSES: Collegiate courses + “value” should go together, but this one is special. The Pfau Course at Indiana University is a Top 100 Public Course and maxes out at $150 during peak weekend tee times.

✅ STATISTICS: Greenside bunker shots are challenging, and you may not always get it on the green on your first try from the sand, but how frequently does that happen by handicap? Our graphic below offers some insight.

✅ TRIVIA: There have been some amazing sand players on Tour, but who was the best statistically in terms of Sand Save percentage? Answer for a chance to win a Limited Edition Taylor Made TP5 Pickle Jar of balls!

Enjoy the weekend!

Fluffy vs. Compact Sand? Change your approach
PGA Teaching Pro Neal York makes it incredibly simple
To Recap…

Sometimes you get the best sand lies out there, and other times you’ll find yourself in a bunker that looks like it hasn’t been raked in years. How should you handle each situation?

-STEP 1: Assess the lie by digging in with your heels and taking note of any sand differences where the ball lies itself. Is the sand soft and fluffy or is it a bit harder to dig your heels in because the sand is harder, or more compact?
-STEP 2: For those perfect fluffy lies, follow your traditional sand shot advice. Open the club face to maximize bounce and allow the club to release and pass the hands through impact. Take a shallower angle and don’t let the club dig!
-STEP 3: For compacted sand, maintain a square club face and make sure your grip is in front of the club head at impact. Drive the heel of the club into the sand with a steeper angle of attack.

Pro Tip: Dependent upon the lie and distance you need to carry the ball, you may to consider clubbing down to a gap or pitching wedge from those super compact, hard sand lies.

IU’s Home Course is a Top 100 Public in the US
#67 on Golf Digest’s Top 100 Public Courses List

The Pfau Course at Indiana University
Bloomington, IN

Indiana University may have been a bit jealous of its Big 10 rivals’ award-winning courses at Ohio State and Michigan when they completed the makeover of their home Pfau Course in 2020. Not only did they make a gorgeous course carving through natural meadows and forests, they made an “absolute brute” of a track that many critics call the most difficult course in collegiate golf.

As a par 71, it can play as long as 7,908 yards with a slope of 155, but you don’t have to set yourself up for pain if you’re looking for more fun. You can play tees as short as 4,600 yards. Designed by Steve Smyers with help from Hoosier Alum and 2-time Major Champ Fuzzy Zoeller, the Pfau Course is definitely worthy of a stop should you ever find yourself in Bloomington.

Rates: $80-$125 on weekdays, $110-$150 on weekends

Check out this video from golf photographer @pjkoenig

Stat of the Day: Greenside Bunker Shot Results -
Miss Green vs. Inside 6 feet
presented by…

The Stat: The bunker is nobody’s best friend. Even an 8-handicap misses the green entirely from a greenside bunker almost 1 out of 5 times.

The Takeaway: Bunkers are designed to penalize bad approach shots. That’s literally why they exist. So give yourself a little grace… but your minimal goal goal should be getting it on the putting surface.

Like Pickles? Answer to Win a Limited Edition TaylorMade TP5 Pickle Jar of Balls
(1 winner chosen on 3/31/24 across all March trivia entries, 1,000 respondents minimum)

Who had the best Sand Save percentage of all-time on the PGA Tour of 71.01%?

As a reference point, PGA Tour Average = 54%

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