No Fear: Hitting Your Ball Over Water

For most golfers, a water hazard is a ball magnet. No matter how hard we try to avoid the wetness, our ball is called to the depths of the pond. Because it is such a draw, our apprehension grows as we approach the water. This becomes a mental challenge that some of us can handle, but most cannot.

Over the years, I have come to embrace hitting over water. I do not fear it, but I have limitations on how far my ball will carry over the hazard. I am not a long hitter, so I have to manage how I play around large water hazards. It is a fact of my game and as such is in my thought process when playing a course.

Others have the same challenge and have recognized their limitations.

Now, if you were Rory McIlroy, water does not cause an issue; especially when you can hit the ball like this:

I remember playing golf one time with my Mom and she was on the tee of a 120 yard hole. Water was in front of her for about 75 yards. The pond ended 25 yards from the front of the green, but the front fringe was 3 feet above the water level, so she had to fly her ball the entire way. As she was going to the tee, I asked her what club she had. She said my 120 yard club. So I thought that was fine; that is until she hit her ball into the water at the far end of the pond.

Little did I know that my mom could hit her club 125 yards, but could not carry it 100 yards in the air. As I queried her about her shot, she said that she was more afraid of going over the back than being short. I explained that the water hazard was the first thing to maneuver, then worry about going over the back. I asked her about what club she could hit to clear the water and she said her 7 wood, but it went 135 yards. So, I asked her to hit another ball with her 7 wood. Low and behold, she cleared the water and the front of the green to lay safely on the green.

This was a teachable moment for both of us. Since that time, I always hit an extra club when going over a water hazard (unless I have a wedge in my hand). I find that with the extra yardage my longer club gives, I have removed the hazard completely and swing with confidence. As a result, I no longer have any fear playing over any hazard because I have found a way to mitigate the danger.

Therefore, for all those who have a challenge hitting for a water hazard; I recommend you take an extra club and swing away. You might be surprised on how quickly these hazards become nuisances.

Signature hole at Sequin Valley Golf Course. All carry over water!

How do you play over a water hazard? Do you have a secret you want to share?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

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