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A Golfer Is Stuck In A Sand Trap.

3 Tips To Get Out of a Sand Trap

An individual is stuck in a sand trap while golfing.

We’ve all been there before. We get out on the course, and we are feeling on top of the world. Our golf game is at par, and then the dreaded sand trap happens. We spend what seems like hours in frustration attempting to get out of the sand trap. Although this mishap can happen to the best of the golf masters, there are a few tips to help even a pro golfer get out of this dreaded situation.

Avoiding a sand trap is impossible, and every golf player should know how to improve their bunker shot. Before we get into explaining five tips that can help with a bunker shot, golf players should calm their minds and remain positive. A good attitude is the first step in approaching a bunker shot. A good attitude helps a golfer read the bunker. As Gary Player states, “there’s more to read in a bunker than any green.” Let’s dig into these five tips.

Bunker Shot Tip #1

The first tip is to select the right club. Golfers should make their club selection based on their position with the green. A high loft wedge might be the best choice if there is little green between the sand trap and the hole. However, if there is more green on the fairway between the sand and the hole, a lower loft wedge will be the better club to use. Additionally, the club’s bounce is essential to get the golf ball onto the green. Bounce helps golfers to keep their swing speed and elevate the golf ball out of the sand. The speed reduction is drastic if the club digs into the sand, and the golf ball will remain in the sand. Using a greenside bunker shot, golfers can attack the sand and untrap their golf balls from the sand trap.

Sand Trap Tip #2

After selecting the right club with the right bounce, the next tip is to use the correct stance. The right club without the proper posture will do nothing to get the golf ball out of the sand. Some questions to ask before swinging are:

  • Where is the ball in the stance?
  • What is the angle of my shoulders?
  • Where are my feet pointed?
  • Where is my weight?
  • Is my grip different?
  • Will my stance and grip allow for a steeper swing?

These questions will help set up the stance, grip, and swing that a golfer needs for a bunker shot. Probably the most critical aspect of a bunker shot is the stance. Without the proper posture, the swing will be off, and the golf ball will be staying in the sand.

A golfer is in a sand trap.

The proper stance consists of:

  • Ground feet into the sand
    • Make sure to have a solid base
  • Choking up on the club slightly
    • About as much as one sinks into the sand
  • Use an open stance
    • Square feet with the target
      • The target is where one wants the golf ball to land
  • Use an open club face
    • Open by 2-3 degrees
  • The front foot should hold the majority of the weight
    • Aim for about 80%
  • Aim the club to attack the sand between 1-2 inches behind the ball
    • Think of purposefully hitting it “fat”
Helpful Tip:

Additionally, a golfer should ensure that they are driving the bottom of the club into the sand. Resist the urge to use the club’s leading edge during the swing and contact with the sand. Using the leading edge will not give the proper bounce required to project the golf ball out of the sand and onto the green.

After setting up the perfect stance for a bunker shot, another critical part of getting the golf ball out of the sand is follow-through. With this shot hitting the sand, the sand will absorb much of the speed. Due to this absorption, keep the follow-through high. We want to keep the speed and momentum going to move the golf ball from the sand trap to the green. The bunker shot aims to get the golf ball out of the sand but land on the selected target. The target can be wherever the golfer wants to golf ball to land. 

Bunker Shot Tip #3

Practice. Without practice, even the best thought-out setups and swings won’t equate to anything. Perfect practice makes perfect. To ensure a golfer knows how to approach a greenside bunker shot, they need to practice. Additionally, continually training helps in keeping a positive mindset when dealing with a sand trap. 

It is never too late or too early to start learning golf skills and practicing the life skills that playing golf can teach in one’s daily life. The physical, mental, and social skills that golf teaches are life skills that help foster friendships and mental aptitudes that follow someone in every aspect of their life. Indian River Golf Foundation dedicates its time to promote participation in golf for all ages and provide opportunities for these individuals to learn and progress in golf and life.

Beat The Sand Trap With Indian River Golf Foundation

If you’re interested in joining our foundation in Indian River County, please contact Roger Van Dyke, the Founder and President of IRGF, via email at or by phone 772-713-9593. We offer several different training options, such as player development and after-school training. We’d love to have you!

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