The term hazard in golf refers an area or location in the golf course that provides the obstacle for the golfer to complete a hole. Each golf course is specifically designed to offer all types of Hazards that are used to disrupt the game, thereby ensuring that the golfer do not complete a hole too easily. These challenges are put in place to up the game for the golfer.
In general, there are 3 types of Hazards.
Water Hazards – This is the type which could come in the form of lakes and rivers. Water Hazards are among the most dreaded upon by golfers. This is because if the ball falls into a water hazard, chances are it is quite impossible to get it out. They are usually natural obstacles that are included in the golf course for aesthetics or to beautify the landscape. In shallow rivers, the ball might still be visible and the golfer can try to hit it out but when the ball falls into the pond, it is as good as gone.
Man-made Hazards – A man-made hazard can be in the form of a bunker. This is very common in a standard golf course where it would most likely be a depression on the ground or near the fairway. A bunker is filled with sand and for the beginner, it would be extremely difficult. However, the seasoned or more experienced golfer could use a sand wedge, which is a type of specialized iron to hit it out with ease.
Natural Hazards – This refers to the type of obstacle made up of natural vegetation. It could be a group of bushes, a family of trees or a hilly slope along the fairway. Natural Hazards differ among Golf Courses. one would find that Golf Courses like the Templer Park Country Club, which is nestled among mountains and rich forest have a lot of natural Hazards while those in the city centre would not have too many of these Hazards.
It must be noted that certain provisions are given to balls that have been played into the hazard areas although in the competitive environment, there are very strict rules pertaining to the touching and hitting of the ball. In most cases, the player is not allowed to touch the ground with the club while the ball can never be touched or lifted unless there are certain obstructions or other objects which can dampen the player’s shot.