Confidence is everything in golf. You could have the most beautiful and effective swing ever and play terrible golf without confidence. This mental skill is born out of attitude, success, and desire. And without it, playing out of sand traps is virtually impossible.
Before making one step into the sand, it is very important to be mentally prepared to make a successful shot. Regardless of the lie or distance from the pin, it is important to be confident that making this shot is easy and doable. Unfortunately, not everyone thinks this way:
Over 40% of respondents think they will flub their sand shot. For those players, I suggest you check out my previous post and watch the video by Phil Mickelson.
After years of playing out of the sand, I can say without a doubt that my confidence is rooted in on aspect of my sand play – the follow through. I was taught years ago that regardless of how I make any other aspect of my sand save, following through to complete the swing was the ultimate key to success. It works all the time and as a result I will extricate my ball from the beach 99 times out of 100. And this is the first key to successful sand play – getting the ball out and on the green.
The next step for me is determining how far I want to hit the ball. This skill is determined by how hard or fast I swing my sand wedge. I try to always hit 2 inches behind the ball and keep the club under the sand for 2 inches past the ball; this consistent depth allows me to adjust my swing speed to judge distance. Before I even swing the club, I am confident about how I am going to execute contact with the ball. This is a very helpful skill to have and as such, I do not fear playing our of the sand. Let me show you:
Playing well out of the sand is a stroke saver. There are many different techniques for effectively playing out of the beach and the most important is confidence in our ability to hit solid shots. It is a mental skill developed with just a little bit of practice. Once you have the confidence, then playing from the sand becomes another routine chip that helps lower your golf scores.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!