Many golfers make the sand trap shot more difficult than it has to be. This is because they were taught that the only way to come out of a trap is with an explosion shot, a rather unnatural stroke for the beginner since the club head has to strike the sand behind the ball and does not strike the ball itself.
There are a number of occasions when the lie of the ball and the lay of the land make playing an explosion shot unnecessary and even unwise. Whenever the bank of the trap is low and there is enough putting surface between the trap and the hole, a golfer would be more sensible to play a variation on a chip shot—with the club head contacting the ball cleanly and lofting it onto the green. Allow for some roll.
A chip from the sand is played the same as a chip from any other lie, with two modifications. First, you grip the club low on the shaft, as far down as the bottom of the leather if this is comfortable. Secondly, glue your eyes on the left half of the ball rather than on the right half as you do on ordinary shots. This enables you to deliver a clean, descending blow, and that is the essence of all chip shots.
from WILLIE HUNTER, Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palisades, Calif.
NEXT WEEK: CHUCK CONGDON ON THE COORDINATED SWING