Sand Shot Tips

June 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

By Dr. Gilbert Abadilla

In addition to my work with Comprehensive Dentistry, Ltd. in Illinois, I enjoy playing golf in my free time. In the world of golf, one shot frustrates more players of all skill levels than any other: the sand shot. It’s tough to be excited about finding yourself in a bunker, and possibly even tougher to be excited about the prospect of hacking your way out. Here are a few basic tips for escaping from a sand trap.

Make note of your ball position: The positioning of your ball will have a large impact on the type of shot you will utilize when trying to get out of the trap. The ideal position is in the flat of the trap with few obstacles immediately in front of you, while the worst position is nestled up against a lip between you and your target.

Select the right club: The sand wedge is an obvious choice for a sand shot. You might want to consider using a more lofted club if you need to scale a steep lip or avoid rolling down the back end of the green.

Get the right stance: If your ball is situated in the flat of the bunker, place the ball forward in your stance, almost in line with your front foot. This will help you catch the ball on the upswing and achieve a nice arcing shot. If you find yourself in an awkward position such as one foot in the bunker and one foot on the grass, stay focused on maintaining your balance throughout all parts of the swing.

Swing away: Once you are ready to swing, open the clubface slightly to improve loft and prevent the front edge of the club from digging into the sand and producing a weak shot. The backswing should travel in a straight line before following through with a fluid motion to strike the sand about two inches behind the ball. Do not attempt to carry the ball out with your club; rather, concentrate on delivering a smooth follow-through and let the sand carry your ball away from danger.


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