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!

Advertisements

My Biggest Fear on the Golf Course

As a golfer, we all that one fear in golf what usually creeps into our minds before we make the shot. It is not always there until that certain situation when it enters our thoughts faster than a bullet train. Mine is hitting a ball short into the sand or water on approach shots. I have worked on this fear for years, but of course there is a bit more to the story,  Continue reading

Removing Your Clothes to Make a Golf Shot

Recently, I stumbled across Sergio Garcia making a golf shot from the cart path. Normally this would not be anything odd for Sergio, however he did without any shoes. Of course we have all watched as players remove shoes and roll up they pant legs for shots out of the water, but I have never seen someone remove their shoes to hit off a cart path. Have you? Continue reading

Crazy Golf Rules

This is just a crazy golf rule that I had to share. It is a cut and paste from BarDown website. I take no credit for the original reporting, but I just had to share it!

Bizarre rule leads to golfer having to strip down and jump into a lake!

Water Hazard

Water Hazard

Wednesday, during the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional, Jacksonville golfer David Wicks found out just how serious tournament officials are about certain rules, no matter the circumstances. After hitting a putt close to the pin on the 13th hole, Wicks picked his ball, placed it in his pocket and put down his marker. Moments later, Wicks went to check his scorecard causing him to accidentally drop his ball off his shoe. The ball ended up rolling into the drink, meaning that unless Wicks was able to retrieve his ball, he would face a penalty shot.

So Wicks did what any good team player would do…he took his clothes off and jumped into the lake.

“Wicks stripped down to his underwear and dove in with a five-minute time limit. “David probably found 20 balls in the stretch of five minutes, but he never could find his,” said Blackburn. “It was just a stroke of bad luck. After the five minute period ended the rules officials gave him a two-stroke penalty, which really could’ve hampered our comeback. But David rebounded, finishing the day with five straight pars to keep us in the race.” (JUDolphins.com)

While we understand that rules are rules, that rule just seems a bit silly. Careful of mistakes on the golf course…some can cause you to have to jump in a lake.

(H/T: FTW USA Today)

The Biggest Dilemma in Golf

There is an age-old dilemma in golf! It is on every players mind every time the stand next to their ball wondering which club to hit next. They are at 175 yards, hitting over water, with a wide open, yet tricky green to land on. The dilemma has arrived; play safe or go for it!

I asked this very question a short time ago, and was surprised by the response.

81% of the respondents had enough confidence in their game that they felt going for it was the answer! Personally, I would go for it as well, but I would have to admit, I would not go for it every time. @cencalhack added a qualifier to his comments below and most golfers would agree that “going for it” depends on many factors.

Hitting a long shot over water is difficult at best. There are so many factors that must be considered, that I am not sure we amateurs actually consider them all! So, I thought I would make my list and see if I am forgetting something. If I am forgetting something, please let me know! Here is what I look at when hitting the ball 175 yards, over water, to an open, tricky green:

  1. Lie. My lie will have to be relatively flat and in the first cut or fairway for my next shot to be an automatic go shot.
  2. Wind. Which way is the wind blowing and how strong is the wind are definitely.
  3. Hazards. The water hazard is the most obvious hazard, but what about the hazards by the green. What happens if I hit long, left or right? Are there out-of-bounds markers near the green?
  4. Feel. How am I playing to this point? If I am playing poorly, well a lay up shot might be the best course management approach. If I am playing well, then pin hunting might be the solution.

My list is fairly generic, but covers most situations. Again, if you have any suggestions, I am all ears!

One final note, ego does play a part of golf. Some players (myself included sometimes) automatically reach for a club when we get to a specific distance or think “that difficult shot” is in our bag. Playing automatically is not good course management and will cost us strokes over 18 holes. So beware of that dreaded ego!

It is important to remember that risk – reward is part of every golf shot!

Regardless of your decision, commit to the shot because anything can happen on the golf course!

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

%d bloggers like this: