Par Saves% From Greenside Bunkers

What are your expectations when you are in a Greenside Bunker? How many times do you expect to get up and down to save par or bogey? That expectation – believe it or not -will drive your ability. In this article, we will try to use data to set that expectation.

If your expectation is too high, you might get too aggressive and underperform. On the other hand, if your expectation is too low you might be being too safe or negative and ultimately underperform.

So the team got together to crunch some numbers and give you the data on the percentage of Par saves from greenside bunkers for different Handicaps. Let’s see what the numbers say!

By the way, this is how we calculate “Greenside Bunker Par Saves% = Par Save / Par Save Chances” as long as there is a Greenside Bunker (S) penalty declared for that hole.

Par Save Chance is assumed when “Score – Putts = Hole Par – 1”


  • Scratch Players are on a league on their own when it comes to this statistic, over-performing their closest group +8%. These players can save par from a Greenside bunker on almost 45% of the chances. And while it’s high I bet you expected a higher number.
  • In this graph, you can see how being between 20%-30% is a good number, which is a normal performance for a single-digit handicap player.

The most important insight here is to have the right expectations. For most of us mortals (I am a 20.3 index) we should not be trying to save par. We should be trying to put the ball on the green and ensure we can make a 2-putt bogey (with the potential to make the putt and save the par). If you lower that expectation you will be eliminating the higher numbers.

Stay sand-free and enjoy your golf!

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Golfer, Writer, and Grinter for life.

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