Golf Hazards

Golf Hazards

Golf Hazard Types

There are four types of hazards on a golf course. As a player or spectator, you should learn what hazards are and the rules to follow when your golf ball ends up in a hazard.

  • Fairway Bunker
  • Greenside Bunker
  • Water Hazard
  • Out of Bound

Fairway Bunker

A bunker is an area of sand that can be located throughout a golf hole. When addressing the golf ball, the player cannot let the club touch the sand, or else they receive a penalty. While it is not uncommon for a player to go for the green out of a fairway bunker, most golfers will elect to hit a shorter club to ensure they get out of the bunker safely.

Greenside Bunker

A greenside bunker is an area of sand located around the putting green. When addressing the golf ball, the player cannot let the club touch the sand, or else they receive a penalty. Greenside bunkers can be quite tricky to get out of, as they require a strong swing and soft touch to land safely on the green.

Water Hazard

A water hazard is an area of water that can be found throughout a golf course. If a golfer hits the ball in a water hazard, they will have to add one stroke to their score on the hole. After hitting a shot into a water hazard, the player will have the choice of hitting from where the last shot was taken or taking a drop no closer to the hole on the line the ball went out on. Both of these options incur the same one stroke penalty.

Out of Bounds

Out of bounds is a marked area that is not considered part of the golf course. Out of bounds is normally marked by white stakes in the ground. If a player hits the ball out of bounds, they will need to rehit from the spot of the last shot. They will also incur a one stroke penalty for having to rehit.

Golf Hazard Penalties

The types of hazards all include some sort of penalty associated with the action. Read below to learn about penalties in golf related to hazards.

  • One Stroke Penalty
  • Grounding Club in Hazard
  • Practice Swing in Hazard

One Stroke Penalty

A one stroke penalty means a golfer must add one additional stroke to his score on a hole. One stroke penalties are applied any time another ball is used besides the original ball, such as when a golfer takes a drop or re-hits from the spot of the last shot.

Grounding Club in Hazard

A golfer cannot ground their club when attempting to hit a ball out of a hazard. This means that the head of the golf club cannot rest on the surface of the hazard. Rather, the club must hover above the water or sand at address. Grounding a club in a hazard incurs a one-stroke penalty.

Practice Swing in Hazard

A golfer can make a practice swing in a hazard as long as the golf club does not make contact with the surface. However, if any part of the club makes contact with the surface, the golfer will incur a one-stroke penalty.