Shot 4: The Fairway Trap Escape


“Wood in sand, wood in head” was the old motto… but that was before the advent of the hybrid. Its curved, rounded sole acts like a sand wedge’s bounce, skipping the head forward rather than digging down; and its slim profile and low-down weight promote the easy launch and height you often need from fairway traps.

Build these tips into your technique to develop a safe, powerful new option when you need distance from sand. The sole of the hybrid will offer some protection from a heavy contact; but as with any shot from a surface as powdery as sand, your point of contact needs to be precise. This is why your action needs to be based more on precision and containment than out-and-out power.

Punch Above The Waist

Think of your hybrid sand swing as an upper-body motion. Remaining relatively quiet, your legs will stabilise your action and maintain a steady base to the swing’s arc, assisting in that precise contact point.

Vital Inch

Don’t forget to hold the club an inch or so further down the handle than normal. Swinging with a ‘shorter’ club is one of the most effective ways to encourage clean contact… and as we know, slightly thin beats slightly fat every time in fairway bunkers.

The main danger with the hybrid in sand is becoming too steep and choppy with your attack angle. Make these set-up adjustments to encourage more of a sweeping attack…

Clean Sweep

After building this slightly leant-away feel, position the ball opposite your lead chest. This sets the ball at the low point of the club’s arc, encouraging a level attack. Now move your trail foot an inch or so further back; widening your stance like this adds stability and promotes a shallower arc.


To find the best address for this shot, imagine you’re playing a shot from an uphill lie. Lean your upper body slightly away from the target and feel you are creating more pressure under your trail foot. This feel helps fight any tendency to drive forward and chop down. Stabilise this posture by adding a little extra knee flex.


Your key thought for the swing is to feel your legs remain stable and supportive, while your upper half drives your action. On the way back, simply feel your torso rotating round that leant-away set-up angle to complete a compact backswing; feel you point your thumbs to the sky; it helps you get momentum into the club while avoiding sway or lateral movement.


Aim to limit the usual forward weight shift at the start of the downswing; it moves the swing’s low point forwards and risks a downward chop. Instead, let your downswing mirror your backswing – a dynamic upper-body uncoil over quiet, stable legs. Again, look to finish with the thumbs skyward to help you build a contained, U-shaped feel to the swing.


NEXT: Shot 5 – The Chip From The Collar 

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