I would like to recommend a safe and simple technique for exploding out of traps. It is primarily a right-hand shot, and these are the key points to observe. The ball is played off the left heel. The blade is open. The left hand is turned well to the left on the shaft, with no knuckles showing. The backswing is upright, with a quick and full cock of the wrists. The downswing speed of the club head governs the distance you want the ball to carry. The bottom edge of the blade is aimed at a spot one inch behind the ball. You must be sure to stay down throughout the shot and to hit against a straight, nonturning left arm and hand as you cut through the sand under the ball.
Now here is the particular refinement I want to bring out. As it reaches the point just over the ball, the left hand slackens its forward motion, sort of "brakes" itself, but the right hand pushes through at normal speed. The "braking" of the left hand and the push through of the right cause the left hand to be forced open. Don't let this worry you. It is exactly the action we want. In other words, the heel of the left hand releases its grip on the club so that only the fingers of the left hand (and the full right hand) have hold of the club. The nice flicking motion this produces brings the ball out in a floating flight that has very little roll.
from PHIL PERKINS, Highland Park Golf Club, Cleveland
"Braking" left arm forces heel of the left hand off the shaft
NEXT WEEK'S PRO: BUD HOLSCHER ON THE BODY TURN