In golf, bunkers (colloquially called sand traps) are part of the game. Learning to play from a bunker is an important skill, and making sand saves is a good indication of that skill.
What is a 'sand save' in golf?
In golf, a player makes a sand save when a player's ball winds up in a bunker, and then the player subsequently gets their ball out of the bunker in one shot and holes out the next shot. In other words, it's an up-and-down from a bunker, whether it's a greenside bunker or a fairway bunker.
Typically, an up-and-down from a bunker is considered a sand save -- also known as a "sandie" or "sandy" -- when those two strokes mean a player scores a par as a result. However, golfers often say they have made a sandy or sandie when they have scored better than par.
More often than not, a sand save or sandy is only when a player hits into a greenside bunker, though.
Sometimes, players will use a slightly different term for a sand save or a sandy for birdie or eagle, saying it's a "sandy birdie" or a "sandy eagle," tacking on the score made to the word sandy.
What does 'sand save percentage' mean?
Making sand saves in golf is not especially easy. Even professional golfers struggle to make sand saves, or sandies. There are many professional golfers who struggle to make sand saves more than 50 percent of the time.
A golfer's sand save percentage is calculated as the percentage of time they are able to get up-and-down from a greenside bunker (or hole out a bunker shot), regardless of the score they make on the hole.