How to Get Out of Sand Traps in Golf Games

By Bill Herrfeldt

The touring professionals seem to get up and down from the sand most of the time, and from every conceivable position. However, most of us amateurs shudder to think about the shot each time it goes into a sand bunker, whether it is on the fairway or green-side. Actually, most sand shots are quite easy to pull off if you use the correct technique.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
Step 1
Make sure the ball is a little forward of the middle line in your stance. Open your club face. Get a good footing by digging your feet into the sand, and aim to the left of the target by opening your stance.
Step 2
Take a full swing. Your posture and your grip should be the same as those when you are on the grass.
Step 3
Strike at a point that is about 1 ½ to 2 inches behind the ball with your sand wedge, because you should use the sand to lift the ball onto the green. The distance of the shot will dictate how hard you should swing, but always hit behind the ball to get the best results.
Step 1
Move the ball a greater distance as you try to hit the green, unlike being in the sand trap beside the green. Therefore, instead of hitting a distance behind the ball and using the sand to make the shot, you should try to hit the ball first, disturbing the sand as little as possible.
Step 2
Choose an iron to make the ball travel farther, but make sure that you have enough loft to clear the lip of the trap.
Step 3
Take an open stance and play the ball slightly forward.
Step 4
Take your normal swing and let the club's loft clear the trap rather than force it.
Step 1
Hit the ball to a place where your next shot is easier when your ball finds a fairway sand trap of the tee on a par-5.
Step 2
Determine how far down the fairway you want to go, and on which side, that will result in a full shot to the green by using either a GPS or your knowledge of the course.
Step 3
Land the ball far enough from the green so you can use a full pitching or gap wedge to knock it close to the hole.

Tips & Warnings

The only way to judge how far you should hit the golf ball is by trial and error, particularly if you are in the sand next to a green. Sand shots are a matter of feel so you need to practice them often until they become easier to hit. Eventually, you will become good at judging distances, determining the height that your sand shots should have, and even putting backspin on the ball when necessary.

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.


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