sand trap stance

Green side trap shots can be intimidating, but they need not be.

The modern trap shot involves making a shallow ½ inch slice behind the ball, instead of the traditional 2 inch downward blast from the sand. This modern trap shot requires that the club face remain open. Many golfers tend to disregard the fundamentals for this shot, which are:


  • The club face edge dictates the direction the ball will take once struck.
  • Your hands should always be in the center of your stance.
  • The plane of the swing should not change.
  • The greenside sand shot should be hit a ½ inch behind the ball.

Swing plane: As we try to slice the ball out of the trap, we have been told to cut across the ball from an outside-in plane. The truth is, if you adjust your stance and hand position to the ball, keeping the club face square to the target, your normal swing is enough. (See white swing line in relation to the dotted green square; they are always square) (C)


Hitting ½ inch behind the ball: We tend to want to control the distance the ball will travel by the amount of sand we hit. This was actually true when we blasted our way out of traps.  Nowadays, the distance depends more on the openness of the club head (the more open it is, the less distance it will travel) and the length of the back and forward swing.

Club face edge: We tend to stand square to the ball and open the club face. If the stance is not adjusted, one of two things will happen: a push to the right (assuming a right hander) or a shank. The reason being that at address the hosel is being placed ahead of the club face, which can have disastrous consequences. You need to square the club face with the intended target. (A)


Location of hands: We tend to want to place our hands ahead of the ball to make up for the open face. Again, this forward action will cause us to swing down from an awkward angle. If we settle our hands in a neutral mid-stance position our body can swing naturally. (B) 










Sand can be your friend ..

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