Hitting Out of a Sand Trap for Left-Handed Golfers

By Contributing Writer

Even confident golfers often experience fear over one particular part of their game. Putting is one area where confidence is a critical factor. Another part of the game that puts fear into the hearts of most beginners and many more experienced players is bunker play. In some ways there is actually more margin for error in an explosion shot from sand than an iron shot from the fairway, as you do not need to hit the back of the ball precisely, but just ensure that you splash the ball out on a cushion of sand. Yet the lack of an established routine and a consistent approach to sand play means it causes many players to drop unnecessary shots.


Difficulty: Moderate
Step 1
Adopt an open stance, with the ball opposite your right heel and your feet pointing 10 to 15 degrees to the right of the target. Settle your feet down into the sand, to give you a firm, steady stance.
Step 2
Point the club face at the pin. This opens the club face up by pointing it to the left of the line of your stance. When you swing back, follow a path parallel to the line of your feet. This will let you cut across the sand under the ball with an open face and hit the ball towards the pin.
Step 3
Keep the club face open all through the shot. If you allow it to close up, it will dig too deep into the sand and either leave the ball in the bunker of hit it to the right of the pin.
Step 4
Take a full swing. Swing hard enough to hit the ball about twice as far as the distance from you to the pin, if you were playing the shot from the grass. Make sure you accelerate through the sand and finish your follow through. Quitting on the shot when the club strikes the sand is the most common reason for leaving the ball in the bunker.
Step 5
Aim to hit the sand an inch and a half behind the ball. Maintain this distance behind the ball for varying lengths of green-side bunker shots. Vary the distance by swinging harder or softer through the sand, remembering to always complete your follow through. This will mean you only have one variable to consider when playing the shot.

Tips & Warnings

Imagine the ball is sitting on top of a tee that is hidden in the sand; your job is to strike the tee and knock it away from under the ball without touching the ball itself.
The two most common reasons for poor bunker shots are quitting on the shot, as mentioned above, and hitting the ball itself instead of the sand behind it. Remember, you do not want to hit the ball at all, the sand will lift the ball out of the bunker as the club swings through it. Stay down and concentrate on accelerating through the sand and finishing your swing.

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