LIKE most poor golfers, I have a lot of trouble when it comes to extricating myself from bunkers.

At the moment, touch wood, my ball does seem to be emerging from the sand with a fair degree of regularity. Unfortunately, more often than not, it ends up travelling two or three times the distance I would like it to, which isn’t a whole lot better.

My bunker troubles came to a head during a recent trip to Test Valley Golf Club with my workmate Chris.

The club is in the process of turning the traps on the course into links-style riveted pot bunkers. They look really attractive and my ball clearly agreed as it seemed to be drawn to them like a moth to a flame.

A sign of things to come came on the very first hole. I was in a greenside bunker for three but caught my attempt at an escape far too cleanly, firing the ball over the green and into a trap on the opposite side.

My next sand shot was equally poor, this time clearing the bunker I had just got out of and finding the bushes. The result was a card-wrecking nine.

Not a great start.

Better was to follow as I picked up a par on the par-five third, but I found the sand at both the fourth and the fifth, the latter resulting in a six on a par-three.

More trips to bunkers followed on holes nine and 14, while I had another nightmare on 15. A terrible slice from the tee resulted in a penalty drop and it took me a further two shots to get down near the green.

Faced with a delicate flop over one of the course’s pot bunkers, I succumbed to the pressure, thinning my shot over the green and into a similar trap on the far side. Another nine and at the end of a very up-and-down round, I had to settle for a score of 103.

At least I wasn’t alone in my bunker trouble. Chris found a particularly evil trap on the par-three 16th and it took him several attempts to get out. I did my best to avoid eye contact as he putted out for a nine of his own.

Next time, we’ll be sure to take buckets and spades out with us.

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