Most golfers are afraid of sand traps; yet, once you understand the technique of playing from sand, it is really not fearsome at all. The trap shot is played with a sand iron and is executed with a three-quarters swing. The golfer stands with his feet and his upper body definitely open, facing slightly to the left of his target. His swing follows along that general line, to the left of the target. The face of the club, however, is kept a shade open and faces directly on the target.
This is the groundwork for making the shot, and now there are four important points about the actual execution for the golfer to remember and to practice: 1) Pick out a spot two to four inches behind the ball and concentrate on hitting that spot, disregarding the ball. 2) Get accustomed to the fact that the distance you will hit the shot will be determined by your hand speed through the ball and not by the length of your swing. 3) From a bad lie, when you must work to get the club face under the ball, plan to have the club enter the sand four to six inches behind the ball, exerting more hand speed (or power) on the downswing than usual. 4) Always follow through quite fully.
In this last connection, I get a lot of complaints from people who say they can't get out of a sand trap. Well, they quit. If they follow through, they'll get out.
from JOE BELFORE, pro at the Country Club of Detroit