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Hazards - The Knowledge To Handle Any Hazard On The Golf Course
December 6th, 2016



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What fun would golf be if the course did not offer painful, yet challenging hazards to deal with? Some of you may moan and complain when your ball lands in the water, a bunker, or buried in a thorned bush, but you have to remember that these are the challenges that make this sport exciting.

I'm not insinuating that you actually want the ball to land in such disaster areas, however it is good to know where the trouble lies and have an effective strategy to maneuver your ball out of a nasty situation, and back into play.

Before you tee off on each hole, you should already have in mind where each of the hazard areas are located, and mentally rate each one with an idea of how severe it may cause your shot to be ruined.

This technique is especially good for beginner golfers. New players do not have the accuracy needed to avoid all hazards, and must choose a direction to aim the ball in, which provides the lesser of the two hazard evils, so to speak.

Six troublesome hazards in which you should be mindful of on the golf course:

1. Hilly Lies: Before hitting the ball down the fairway, take notice of any hilly terrain that exists. You may have to hit the ball 10 to 20 yards short of your intended destination in order to avoid it from running downhill away from the target. Getting your ball into a good position is always better than going for distance, especially when facing hilly lies that roll up or down in different directions.

2. The Rough: Although a difficult area to hit the ball from, the rough is actually the least worrisome of all hazards (in most cases). You can generally hit the ball back into play from the rough without being penalized.

3. Out of Bounds: When You hit the ball out of bounds, otherwise called "OB", you are forced to go back and hit the ball all over again, in addition to adding a penalty stroke to your score. No player enjoys this experience and when you do tee off for the second time, you are actually making your third shot - not fun!

4. Water Areas: Although not as disastrous as hitting the ball out of bounds, having it land in water will force you to take your next shot in another location in addition to earning a penalty. There may be some instances where you can try to make the shot, only if the ball is not too far under water, but these cases are few and far in between.

5. Bunker: Nobody likes to hit the ball into the sand, but with persistent training, knocking the ball out and back onto the green can be quite simple. With proper technique, you can usually get the ball out of the sand without incurring a penalty.

6. Bushes & Trees: Bushes and trees can be detrimental to your scorecard. The ball may be lying deep inside a tangle of deep bushes, or so close to a tree trunk that it is literally impossible to knock back into play. Even when you incur a penalty shot and drop the ball within two club lengths of the area, this does not guarantee that you have a playable position.