US PGA: Why the stars are struggling with Southern Hills bunkers

Pga Southern Hills Bunkers

If you tuned in for coverage of the PGA Championship on Thursday, you’ll probably have seen a few interesting bunker shots.

Pros struggled to get to grips with the sand traps at Southern Hills, with more shots than usual going long or being knifed altogether.

Even the greats of the game struggled, with Tiger Woods among those to admit his bunker play was not up to scratch during round one.

• Rory McIlroy makes good start "for a change"

• Tiger Woods pinpoints reason for poor PGA start

But why are they struggling? The answer could lie with the type of sand.

Ian Poulter detailed the issue in a story posted on Instagram earlier this week.

Ian Poulter Pga Bunkers

According to the English Ryder Cup legend, the sand used in Tulsa is different to the kind tour stars are used to. Where they normally play from soft sand, the type in play this week is hard, coarse and, Poulter claimed, more like gravel.

“You will see some shots out of bunkers this week which won’t have any spin due to the coarse, fine, gravel-type sand,” he wrote.

• MacIntyre reflects on "brutal" PGA round one

• US PGA: bunkered team's predictions

“You get tiny stones between ball and clubface making it super inconsistent.

“Bunkers to be avoided at all costs. Even more so if you short side yourself.”

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