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Now I have a question: Any good tips on getting out of a green-side bunker when the sand is hard after it's been raining overnight? I have tried using a wedge or even a 9-iron with mixed results.

When a bunker is dry and the sand is fluffy, you generally want to hit a bit behind the ball...this is the standard stuff you will see during golf tournament coverage on TV and in golfing magazines.

When the sand is shallow, coarse, or wet, you will want to hit closer to the ball...the reason is that the dry sand will explode the ball out of the trap, the wet sand will not do this as it is compacted, wet and more dense. So, hit a little closer to the ball and don't dig as deeply into the sand. You will also want to take a little speed off the club as you will not be moving as much sand, which would reduce the amount of power transferred to the ball...

And don't forget to follow through, that seems to be the most common error I see in sand play...

Hope this helps,

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