For many golfers, facing hazards like sand and water can be a knee-knocking experience. Even when trying to avoid hazards, it sometimes seems as if one's ball is always sucked directly into them. All hazards can be avoided, though, if the shot is planned correctly.
Focus on a target area. Pick an area where you want the ball to land. Don't try to just get it over the water or over the sand. Imagine the ball in an area where you will be comfortable hitting it. If you have confidence in the shot you are going to hit, then the hazard will not present as big of a problem. Be comfortable and confident in your shots.
Consider the risk levels of your different shot possibilities. Decide if you are taking too large of a risk to attempt to go over a hazard. Don't expect yourself to somehow be able to power your ball over a hazard when such a shot is out of your range. If you must lay up, be content with the shot and lay up. At the same time, put the ball in an area that will allow for an effective next shot. Focus on the risk. Then execute the smart shot.
Focus on playing conditions. Make sure to check the wind and temperature, so you know the proper distance that you will need to hit the ball. Both wind and heat or cold can lead to different distances on shots, so compensating for the weather is an important consideration. Check the wind before every shot, especially if attempting shots over or around hazards.
Calm your body. Take a few deep breaths, and focus on the shot. Try to block out the hazard, and just view your target area. Focusing on the target area will help you focus on your swing and the shot you need to make.
Tips & Warnings
Avoid focusing on the hazard.