When the average golfer gets into a sand trap 75 yards or so from the green, he wants to play an explosion shot "like the pros." He takes in the healthy distance to the green and says to himself, "Now I'll really have to blast it to get it there." The results don't help his frame of mind much, or his score either.
To begin with, the average golfer is wrong when he thinks the pros play an explosion shot from that far out. The clubhead, of course, sometimes displaces quite a bit of sand after the ball has been struck, and maybe this is what gives the illusion that the pros hit the sand before the ball on this kind of shot. They don't—or at least they try not to. They try to "pick" the ball on a long trap shot, contacting it cleanly and hitting it just below the center.
On this shot there's very little shifting of weight. You keep the body anchored, for you play this shot just about entirely with the arms and wrists. You have to cock the wrists correctly going back to execute the shot well. And you must concentrate, for no shot in which the club has to make precise contact with the ball is an easy one. One further point: always use the sand wedge.
WALTER BURKEMO, Forest Hills CC, Detroit
NEXT TIP: Blanche Sohl on generating clubhead speed