Nine times out of 10 when a player finds his or her ball lying in a sand trap, the reaction is one of great trepidation. Women are particularly susceptible to this, and they approach the trap shot with such a mixture of hopelessness and fear that, on numerous occasions, they waste two or three heedless, headless strokes before they even calm down.

Actually, as has been said time and time again, the trap shot is about the easiest in golf, if you take it easy. Remember, you do not have to slug the ball with all your might to get it out of the trap. All it takes is a good, coordinated swing. Since the club enters the sand behind the ball and has to travel beneath the top of the sand, a full swing with a complete follow-through is necessary. This is what you should aim for, not a frenzied slash which, most likely, will only bury the club and the ball deep in the sand.

The big secret in playing from sand is to be lazy about it. Take the club back with a slight wrist break and raise the club a little more abruptly, and remember that the last thing you want to do is to get savage with the shot. The ball will come floating out of the trap much more successfully, be assured, if you put your mind to executing a swing that is unrushed and easy-flowing from its start to the finish of a complete follow-through.

from HELEN DETTWEILER Thunderbird CC, Palm Springs, Calif.

PHOTO ILLUSTRATIONincorrect: overtense ILLUSTRATIONcorrect: lazy does it