Golfing Your Way Out of the Sand Trap

by Greg Hansward

A golfer’s nightmare – You have somehow eliminated the slice you have been struggling with, you have the perfect swing and the perfect stance. Yet, despite doing it all right on paper, you still find yourself occasionally behind the largest tree on the course of standing in knee-deep grass of the course sand trap.

Think about it, though. If the golf course was smooth with no sand, water or bunkers, golfing would soon become boring for even the most committed golfer. Obstacles make the game challenging and a far better game. You can learn to appreciate these traps much more once you know how to get out of the situations they cause for golf players.

You have a couple options when you find your golf ball hiding behind a large tree. Obviously, one option is to try to bore a hole through the tree so your ball can slide through, but this probably will not pass the approval of course maintenance as well as the other golfers.

Rather, many golfers choose to sacrifice one putt in order to get the ball in a better position. Whether or not this is the better option depends on how much the golfer is willing to risk for that one play and also on the golfer??s ability. A ricochet shot is occasionally an option if there is another tree nearby and in the right position, but in reality the result is far too uncontrollable. There is no way to know how the ball will react once it hits the tree trunk and layered bark.

The best choice is to practice your curve ball before you find yourself at this point. When the time comes, you will be ready to get the ball back on course, save your game and also impress your fellow golfers.

Sand on the golf course presents an entirely new problem for golfers. Many tryout the “whack and see” approach by simply pulling out his or her sand wedge, whacking the ball and then watching the sand fly as they hope the golf ball also took flight.

Consistency is the key to overall success when it comes to golf, and this also goes for those times when you need to get out of the sand box. Simply put, sand is a real problem when trying to get the golf ball back onto the fairway. You will have trouble controlling the putt from the sand trap since golf balls do not roll well in sand.

The best way to get out of a sand trap is to use the wedge and get enough loft to clear the top of the sand trap, though less loft is typically much easier to control. So, you will want to choose your golf wedge carefully.

Ultimately, regardless of whether you are behind a tree, in a sand trap or facing another obstacle, choosing the best club, properly setting up your shot and controlling the ball are the best steps you can take to get back onto the open green.

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