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Golf Tips: How to Get Out of the Sand

One of the fastest ways to ruin a good round of golf is to get stuck in a bunker and spend several swings trying to get the ball up and out. This can be a frustrating experience to say the least, and even good golfers have had nightmare experiences in bunkers of all shapes and sizes. In order to avoid this fate, you need to understand some basic techniques for getting out of a bunker, and then take a little time to practice it for yourself. After learning more about the sand game, you will see that bunkers aren’t actually that scary and you can even hit some of your best shots from the trap.

To get started making sure you can get out of the sand on the first try, use the following five step plan. By just following these five steps - and practicing them - you should be well on your way to improvement in the bunker.

  1. Use your most-lofted club. If you have a 58* or 60* wedge in your bag, this would be the time to use it. The most-common way for the ball to get stuck in the bunker is not getting enough loft to get the ball over the lip and onto the green. Using your highest-lofted club will give you every chance to get the elevation you need.
  2. Open the face. Even with a lofted wedge, you will want to turn the face open so you can get even more loft. Most amateurs get nervous when doing this so they end up keeping the face square. That is a big mistake - open the club up and trust it to do the job.
  3. Open your stance. With the clubface open, now open your stance to make it easier to swing along an outside-in path. This path can help you cut under the ball and lift it up and out of the sand.
  4. Take a big swing. Sand is heavy, and you will need a strong swing to cut through it and lift the ball out of the trap. Make a bigger swing than you think you need, and make sure your club enters the sand at least a couple inches behind the ball.
  5. Keep your head down. Don’t be in a rush to see if the ball made it out of the trap. Watch the ball all the way through impact, and keep accelerating the club through the sand. If you do all of these things successfully, the ball will fly up and out of the bunker just about every time.