The trap shot, to my way of thinking, is one of the least difficult shots in golf, for it is the only one which allows the player a margin for error of almost two inches. Ideally, you should contact the sand two inches behind the ball, but even if your stroke is erratic and you hit the sand only a quarter of an inch behind the ball, you will produce a fairly good and serviceable shot. Golf is seldom this lenient.
In playing from sand, the golfer should play the ball off his left heel and the face of the club should be open. This gives you the maximum loft of the club face, and the ball will get into the air with the quickest upward flight. Getting out of the trap, after all, is the most important thing. There is no need to force a shot from sand, for the construction of the sand iron provides you with a wide sole that has a bounce to it. If you swing the club right, it will do most of the work for you. So, instead of trying to flip the ball by consciously breaking the wrists, which is wrong and unnecessary, concentrate on developing a firm and rhythmic swing—a one-piece swing in which an even tempo is sustained from start to finish. Furthermore, you will gain consistency if you remember that if you take the club back a certain distance on the backswing, it must go through an equal distance on the follow-through.
from BUCK LUCE Sands Point Golf Club, Port Washington, N.Y.
NEXT WEEK: JIMMY HINES ON THE LATERAL-SHIFT PIVOT