Many golfers panic when their ball comes to rest in a sand bunker. Fear and tension cause players to rush their sand shots because they are anxious to get them out of the way. You must have confidence when playing from the bunker.

You should plan before setting up in the sand. I think the average player would be wise to swing in slow motion when practicing sand shots. Then duplicate this rhythm in actual play.

When playing from soft sand, your club will encounter little resistance from the sand. You can cut fairly deep under the ball, thus avoiding a thin shot, and still pop the ball out.

The club's point of entry into the sand may vary with individual tastes; if you have doubts, I suggest 1 1/2 to 2 inches behind the ball.

In wet sand, use a shallow cut. If you cut too deeply, you will not get the club through the sand with enough speed to pop the ball out. Let the club do the work.

When the ball is buried, enter the sand closer to the ball with the club face closed. Just focus on a spot behind the ball where you want the club to enter the sand. You must open your stance.

Pick up the club head abruptly on the backswing. Hit down through the sand, keeping your head down. Most of your weight is on the left foot.

Many players play away from bunkers for fear of going in. Be confident; go over the trap, now that you are a better trap player.

If you are faced with a long sand shot, you must make contact with the ball before the club enters the sand. Get a firm footing in the sand, and play the ball from the same position in your stance that you would for a normal fairway shot.

Remember, when playing out of the sand, get a firm footing to ensure you will not move when attempting the shot.