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A bold way to play a tough trap shot
Jack Nicklaus
November 25, 1963
Many times in a tight tournament or a close match you will hit the ball into such an impossible lie that you just want to cry a little and walk back to the clubhouse. Please don't, because if this situation can be considered a prelude to disaster, it can also be looked on as a rare opportunity. The successful execution of such a shot can provide the psychological thrust that will unsettle your opponent or inspire you to a fast finish. One such lie occurs when your ball has rolled against the back edge of a trap in a way that makes it almost impossible to get the club head down into the ball. Ordinarily, the safest move out of this mess would be to just chip the ball firmly toward the green. If your position in the match is one in which you must gamble, however, try this. Take as steady a stance as you can under the circumstances, choke up on the club quite a bit and open its face wide. On the backswing you will have to break your wrists very sharply to get the club head up past the lip of the trap, but also take it back well to the outside of the line to the hole. The downswing will therefore be outside in, and should be made with a strong right hand. Try to make the right hand, in a sense, catch up with the left at impact. This will produce a combined cutting and scooping action that should get the ball up quickly, and maybe even near the cup.
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November 25, 1963

A Bold Way To Play A Tough Trap Shot

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Many times in a tight tournament or a close match you will hit the ball into such an impossible lie that you just want to cry a little and walk back to the clubhouse. Please don't, because if this situation can be considered a prelude to disaster, it can also be looked on as a rare opportunity. The successful execution of such a shot can provide the psychological thrust that will unsettle your opponent or inspire you to a fast finish. One such lie occurs when your ball has rolled against the back edge of a trap in a way that makes it almost impossible to get the club head down into the ball. Ordinarily, the safest move out of this mess would be to just chip the ball firmly toward the green. If your position in the match is one in which you must gamble, however, try this. Take as steady a stance as you can under the circumstances, choke up on the club quite a bit and open its face wide. On the backswing you will have to break your wrists very sharply to get the club head up past the lip of the trap, but also take it back well to the outside of the line to the hole. The downswing will therefore be outside in, and should be made with a strong right hand. Try to make the right hand, in a sense, catch up with the left at impact. This will produce a combined cutting and scooping action that should get the ball up quickly, and maybe even near the cup.

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