How to Escape From the Sand Trap and Save Your Game!

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There I was with my buddy on the golf course, playing a par 4, when my friend ends up in the sand trap. The friend in question here is quite new to the game of golf, so finding himself in this predicament was not a place he wanted to be.

As I sat there, watching my friend trying to escape the sand trap, I contemplated telling him some advice that would help him out. I didn’t because I found the situation to be quite hilarious. But all the tips I was going to give him I will now pass on to you, so you don’t find yourself in similar peril.

Escaping the Sand Trap

The Right Gear

Obviously, you are going to want the right club for the job if you find yourself in a sand trap. It should also go without saying that the “right gear” is not going to be something bulky like a driver.

Instead, what you will want in your bag is the aptly named “Sand Wedge”, which is made just for this type of situation. Should you not have a sand wedge in your bag other wedges, such as a Pitching and Approach wedge, can both do the job of saving you from the sand.

High-numbered Irons can make a good choice of club as well in the absence of a wedge of some kind. Use caution when using an iron to escape the sand trap, however, as they are not as well suited for this situation as wedges, so you may have to make more adjustments to your shot then you may be used to.

Stance and Balance

When in the sand trap you are going to want to take a wide stance with your legs. This will help you to keep footing in the sand and make the best shot.

When taking your shot, maintain your balance and shot strength by shifting all your weight from your dominant side to the other. This will help you to get underneath your ball and make the recovery.

Hitting The Sand

DON’T GROUND YOUR CLUB IN THE SAND BEFORE YOUR SHOT! Doing this in most games will lead to a stroke penalty, and you already have enough trouble as it is.

With that said, you will want to hit the sand before the ball as you come down with your swing. Digging up a bit of the sand this way will actually help to give the ball some added momentum, both from your shot and the sand itself.

Don’t dig up too much sand however, as going too deep into the sand can end up slowing down your swing or cause problems with making contact with the ball. This means that your shot will lose power, accuracy, and may not even escape the sand trap at all.

Ball Position and Speed

The amount of speed and power you apply to your swing will depend on how your ball lands in the trap. If the ball is grounded deep in the sand or if you are hitting up a slope, you will want a little bit more speed in the acceleration of your club to help lift your ball out.

The same is slightly true for shallow or flat sand traps, as you will want added acceleration to combat the resistance of the sand. Don’t add too much extra power in this instance, however, as this can actually cause your shot to become inaccurate


As your club comes underneath the ball, it will essentially “Scoop” underneath the ball, allowing it to become free of the sand. During this process, try not to put too much downward pressure under the ball. Doing so can cause you to dig up more sand than nessacry and cause the ball to not move much.

This technique can become a bit more difficult when shooting close to a slope. When in this situation you will want to try and get underneath the ball more, allowing you to scoop and throw the ball from the trap.

No Backspin

 As you take your shot, try as best you can to not apply any backspin to the ball. Doing this can cause your ball to either stop dead in the sand or roll back into it once it has escaped.

hitting clubface


As any golfer will tell you, the sand trap is a major pain in the butt. You will want to know how to conquer this problem and not end up like my friend did, so using these tips can help you out greatly in the long run. And, unlike me and my friend, feel free to pass these tips out to your fellow golf buddies and help them out if they need it as well.

 Who knows, it may even save a friendship.
Denny Putsh
Denny Putsh

I’m a golf enthusiast just like you and have been playing the game since I was 12 years old. Although I love watching the PGA Tour and following my favorite stars on tour I’m also fascinated by all of the unique and innovative products that are associated with the game I love. It's my greatest joy to share my fascination with golf gadgets, equipment, training aids, and golf accessories with fellow golf lovers on all levels.


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