By Kelly Kleckner,
Class A LPGA Teaching Professional
Myth or Fact: The margin of a water hazard extends downwards and the stakes and lines marking the hazard are outside of the hazard. This is Rule 26 - "Water Hazards." The above statement, however, is a Myth.
Too often I see people misjudging stakes and not knowing how to go about the penalty. Here's how it works: A water hazard is considered any sea, lake, pond, river, ditch, or other open water course. All ground or water within the margin of a water hazard is part of the hazard. The margin of the hazard extends up and down, and the stakes and lines defining it are in the hazard.
Lateral hazard: Defined by red stakes or lines and is situated so that it is not possible to drop a ball behind the hazard.
Options: There are five options when a ball lies within a lateral hazard: 1. Play it as it lies. 2. Drop behind the hazard on a line formed by the hole and the point (A) where the ball entered the hazard-one stroke penalty. 3. You may return to the tee or the last spot from which you played the ball - again penalty of "in on 1, out on 2, hitting 3." 4. You may drop within two club-lengths of the point of entry (A) - no nearer the hole. 5. You may drop on the opposite side of the hazard making sure it is the same distance from the hole as A. Lots to remember!
Water hazard: Defined by yellow stakes or lines and it is possible to drop directly behind the hazard.
Options: You have three choices in a water hazard: 1. If the ball is playable you may play it without penalty. 2. If it's not playable, imagine a line running from the point where the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard. You may drop any place on the course on an extension of that line for a one stroke penalty. 3. You may return to the tee where your next stroke would be your third(if that was your tee shot).
Bunker Shot with Lower club head speed tips and trick
Set up so that you will be able to splash the sand:
* Hold your hands high on the grip of the club. By placing your hands toward the top of the handle, you maximize the length of your sand wedge, which will help it to be able to hit the sand firmly.
* Position your golf ball in line with the instep of your forward foot, just like a tee shot. Playing your ball more forward in your stance will help to position the ball later in the swing so that the club head will enter the sand before striking your golf ball.
* Dig your feet into the sand. Digging your feet into the sand also helps to lower the bottom of your swing and will help you to contact the sand before the ball and helps to ensure a nice long divot in the sand. A divot in the bunker is ideally 12 to 15 inches long.
The necessary adjustments for low club head speed players are:
* A square face at address. You will not want to open the face of the sand wedge since this will produce more loft and less distance and due to the fact that you do not generate a lot of speed for most bunker shots you will need all of the distance possible.
* A square stance. In other words, your feet should be parallel to the target line just as they are for a normal full swing. Due the fact that you will not open the club face to maximize the distance it won’t be necessary to open your stance.
* A little attitude with a full finish. Since the sand acts as such a buffer between the club face and the ball, it will be necessary for the low club head speed player to take what feels like a very full swing with a full finish. To ensure that the swing has all the speed that you are able to generate, you will lift your trailing foot so that your heel comes up as your body turns forward and as the foot rotates up to the toe.
* Change to a less lofted club for greater distance splash shots. If you don't generate a lot of swing speed you will find that your splash shot with your sand wedge won't travel far, maybe only eight to 10 yards. If this is the case you will need to change to a less lofted club, like a pitching wedge or a gap wedge, for your longer splash shots.
By having a plan that will work for your game and club head speed, you'll have more success. When you know how to handle a greenside bunker and you are less worried about going into one, you may be surprised how much less often you find yourself there.