Friday, February 1, 2013

6 Tips for Success in the Sand Trap

Having trouble staying out of the beach on the golf course? As a collegiate golfer and coach, I know the terror and frustration of the sand traps.  But with focused practice, you CAN improve your skills with the sand wedge and improve your game.  Consider the 6 tips that I’ve developed for mastering the sand trap.
1 – Open Your Stance --- Open your stance by pulling your front foot back a little so you are aimed left of your target.  Also, sit down in your stance (like you are sitting on a horse) so that you can get your club face under the ball better.
2 –Position the Ball --- The ball should be in the front of your stance off of your front foot aligned with your big toe or on the inside of your foot.
3 – Open the Face --- Open your club face so that the club face is looking up and not at the green so you are able to get the height you need to get over the lip of the trap and to land softly on the green.
4 – Sand First! --- Make sure to hit the sand first. You want to hit into the sand approximately 3 inches behind the ball.
5 – The Swing --- During the back swing, be sure to take the club slightly outside and come down steeply during the downward swing. Do not decelerate upon contact with the ball; you need to complete the swing to the end of the follow-thru.
6 – No Touch --- Don’t forget that practice swings are not allowed in the sand trap; a practice swing touching the club to the sand will cost you a penalty stroke!  
Success in the sand trap can only be achieved through solid skill development.   Get out there and practice!!!


  1. I dread landing in the sand traps, because I have a problem with declerating my swing after I make contact with the ball. I will try to continue my swing speed throughout the follow-thru. Thanks for the tips!

  2. Great Tips!

    My sand trap nemesis is #6; fear of inadvertently grounding my club while setting up + being unable to take a practice swing. Somehow this gets to me mentally and zaps my concentration. I think practice is key, but it's not always easy to find a range/practice facility with a (functioning) sand trap. (especially here in New England in the winter) The installation of a sand trap is something that should definitely be considered when a practice facility is created/upgraded.

  3. I often times find myself in the sand trap and other hazards on the golf course! Like Dr. Peak mentioned, many people, including myself, fail to follow-thru with their swing speed in the sand. Many times I often find myself treating it as a chip shot rather than trying to get enough loft on the ball so that it can clear the bunker, as well as land softly on the green so it doesn't scuttle across to the opposite side! These are great tips for all types of golfers! Thanks Katy!

  4. It seems I spend a great deal of time in the sand trap. Are there any tips on how to stay out of the sand? I also struggle with #6. I find it hard to make contact behind the ball and hit the sand first. You are definitely right about the need for practice but it needs to be quality. Next time I am working on my golf game I will take 20 quality shots out of the sand trap. Do you have any tips for the tee off and using your driver? Being a former college baseball player I have developed a number of bad habits in my swing technique. It is difficult for me to stay closed and therefore I slice the ball a majority of the time. Any ideas?

  5. Hey There. I found your weblog using msn.
    This is a really well written article. I'll make sure to bookmark
    it and come back to read more of your helpful info.
    Thanks for the post. I'll definitely comeback.

    Feel free to surf to my page: Fast WEight Loss