The majority of amateur golfers are petrified by the thought of having to hit a bunker shot.
Consistent good bunker play can save golfers at least 1 or 2 shots on average. It is a fact that low handicap golfers and professional golfers, are on average, decent bunker players. PGA Tour professionals though, are great bunker players.
An important aspect to keep in mind is the quality of bunkers out on the PGA Tour in comparison to the bunkers at your home club. The consistency of the sand is the same week in and week out and majority of the time players will get a good lie. PGA Tour pros won’t end up in a footprint or in a bunker that hasn’t been raked properly.
In order to know how much room for improvement there is for your bunker play, take a close look at these 5 PGA Tour bunker play stats for 2017.
The Importance of Good Bunker Play – 5 Must Know Sand Save Statistics
1. Sand save percentage
In order to highlight the importance of bunker play let’s start off by taking a look at the overall sand save percentage on the PGA Tour in 2017.
Rickie Fowler was the leader in this category getting his ball up and down 68.66% of the time that he took a trip to the beach.
If amateur golfers, especially high handicap players could do this they would save on average potentially at least 2 or 3 shots per round.
The 150th ranked player still managed to get it up and down out of the sand 45.95% of the time.
If you are a player that likes to keep track of stats this is important one to remember, always aim to get every other bunker shot up and down.
2. Sand saves <10 yards
Shorter bunker shots are normally easier than longer ones, but by looking at the stats even the best players in the world often times struggle in the sand.
In 2017 6 players had a 100% sand save record on bunker shots under 10 yards.
In comparison Justin Thomas, the best player in the world, only got up and down 37.5%. It goes to show that even the best players all have parts of their game that can improve.
3. Sand saves 10-20 yards
As the distance of the bunker shots increase, the sand save percentages decrease.
Majority of bunker shots that a player will face out on the golf course will fall into this distance category, that is an important fact to keep in mind when practicing your bunker play.
Cameron Tringale was the leader in the category with 72.73% saves made.
On the other end of the spectrum Nick Taylor ranked 150th, getting it up and down out of the bunker 45.76% of the time.
4. Sand saves 20-30 yards
A lot of bunker shots are also played on average from this distance category.
Rickie Fowler’s bunker play was exceptional in 2017, he got up and down 73.53% of the time that he was faced with a bunker shot from 20-30 yards away from the hole.
Other players on the PGA Tour weren’t as good as what Rickie was, 6 players tied for 150th spot getting it up and down only 40% of the time.
5. Sand saves from 30+ yards
Stats can often times be misleading, Nick Watney got up and down every time he had a 30+ yard bunker shot, when looking at stats always look at the number of attempts.
By taking a further look it is evident that 30+ yard bunker shots are drastically more difficult than shorter shots. Paul Casey ranked 150th in this category only getting up and down 23.08% of the time.
Amateur golfers struggle with longer bunker shots, but don’t feel alone, the best in the world also have a hard time with this shot.
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