They started playing this great game of golf more than 300 years ago and they had sand traps even back then.

I’m sure the golfers of the day, when their golf ball landed in the dreaded sand trap, had fear struck in the best of hearts and I’m sure they had trouble getting the ball out even back then.

As a PGA professional teaching lessons in the sand trap, my first thought is to get the student to get the ball out of the trap first, then start thinking about getting the ball close to the flag stick.

Here is a great tip of the week to help you do that. First get over to the practice sand trap at your local golf course. Hop into the sand trap and with the end of your sand wedge, the grip, draw a line in the sand about three feet long.

Now draw another line about eight inches away next to the previous line, so now you have two lines about three feet long.

Take your stance with your sand wedge and practice some swings, hitting the first line, keeping your golf club head in the sand, catching the second line.

What this will do is get the player consistently hitting the sand first rather then missing the sand and topping the ball. This will take a little practice and remember, we are not using a golf ball here, just drawing lines in the sand.

I have used this technique for many years and trust me, it works.

Have fun and I will see ya on the first tee.

Ben Alexander is a PGA teaching profesnional who formely taught in Pebble Beach and now teaches golf lessons at Lake Shastina Golf Resort. He was awarded the PGA Teacher of the Year twice and was nominated for National PGA Teacher of the Year, To contact Ben call (831) 277-9001.