Sand Wedge Golf Swing

By Bill Herrfeldt

driver addressing golf ball on tee
Most golfers hate when their ball lands in the sand trap. Most immediately convince themselves that being in the trap signals trouble and they will add strokes to their rounds. By learning the fundamentals of getting out of a sand trap, you'll take strokes off your score.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
  1. Know as much about the sand as you can before you hit the shot. It is legal to move your feet back and forth as you take your stance. Not only will you improve your stability, you will be testing the thickness and depth of the sand, two important things you'll need to find out before you swing. For instance, if the sand is "powdery," you do not have to swing as hard to get the ball out.
  2. Position the ball about halfway between the center of your stance and your leg closest to the target, and center your weight toward your heels. Open your club face to the extent that you have cut the angle between it and the sand in half, then compensate for that by aiming to the left of the flag, assuming you are right-handed.
  3. Hit behind the ball about three inches so that the sand propels the ball, not your club face. And rather than sweep the club back as you normally try to do with your longer shots, steepen your swing by cocking your wrists immediately at the beginning of your swing. Finally, since you are not concentrating on distance, keep your hips from moving throughout the swing.
  4. Don't quit on your sand wedge shots, because more often than not, you will be hitting from the same trap again as a result. Keep your head down throughout the shot and don't look up until your golf club is pointing at the target.
  5. How hard you hit the shot can vary because it depends on your swing and the distance from the sand trap to the flag. There is no better way to build confidence in your ability to get out of a sand trap successfully than to practice the shot regularly.

About the Author

Bill Herrfeldt specializes in finance, sports and the needs of retiring people, and has been published in the national edition of "Erickson Tribune," the "Washington Post" and the "Arizona Republic." He graduated from the University of Louisville.