"Sand Traps" into "Sand Opportunities"!
Sand traps are a
part of the game you can't avoid. You will either live in fear of them,
or you will learn to conquer them! The fact is, sand shots are more
intimidating than they are difficult. With correct technique and some
practice, you'll find getting out of bunkers to be one of the easier
golf shots to master.
I worked with you in person, I'd have you hitting out of the sand like
a pro in about 15 minutes--but for now, I'll just have to give you a
quick primer on my golf training strategy for effective bunker play.
1. Address the ball
as usual with your feet, body, and clubface square to the target line.
Stand with the ball positioned just inside your left foot and the club
hovering about three inches behind the ball.
2. Open the clubface
to aim about thirty degrees right of the target line and then take your
normal grip according to this skewed alignment.
3. Now open your
stance by moving your left foot (and the left side of your body) away
from the target line so your body line points about thirty degrees left
of the target. The clubface should now again be square to the target
4. Position your
hands forward near the left thigh, and shift your weight forward more
onto the left foot.
5. Relax throughout
your body and, if you like, waggle your club a little. Maintain steady
breathing, visualize the desired shot, and feel confident in the upcoming
6. Focus on a spot
in the sand about two or three inches behind the ball (farther back
for shorter shorts). For initial practices, mark a spot in the sand
behind the ball at which to look and swing.
7. Take a half to
three-quarter pitchlike swing along your body line. The exact size and
vigor of the swing is a "feel thing" you'll develop with practice. Initially
it may help to think of swinging just hard enough to hit the sand the
same distance you want the ball to fly in the air. Follow
through to roughly the nine o'clock position and finish with the back
of your left hand facing the sky.
your sand shots at least once per week and you'll develop the technique
and confidence to get up-and-down from even the most difficult situations.
Turn sand traps into sand opportunities and you'll take
a few strokes off your game forever!
Lisa Ann Hörst
is Lancaster, PA-based teaching pro. Her new book,
Golf Training: The Secrets to Effective Practice
and a Lower Score (Finally!), is being heralded
as "the most comprehensive guide to better
golf" available that will "positively
transform your game."