One of the questions I hear all the time is "How hard should I hit this trap shot?" The way I answer is this: "If you were going to toss the ball underhand up to the pin from that spot, how hard would you throw it? Try to picture that, and then swing through with the club just as hard as you would swing through with your hand if you were tossing the ball."
This analogy holds no matter what part of a trap you are in. For example, if you were going to throw the ball from under the lip of a deep trap, you would throw more "up" and less "out." To achieve this trajectory with your golf club, you hit the sand three or four inches behind the ball, remembering to follow through with your stroke. On the other hand, if you were at the back edge of the trap, you would toss the ball in a trajectory that would be less "up" but a good distance "out." In this case, play the ball with an open stance, and strike the ball first and the sand second, using very little wrist action. If you remember this adjustment and still swing as hard as you would toss the ball from that position, the ball will have the right amount of carry.
from HARRY PEZZULLO, Mission Hills Country Club, Northbrook, Ill.
NEXT WEEK'S GUEST PRO: GENE LITTLER ON THE HIT-THROUGH