4 Types of Hazards on Golf Courses

Hazards can be quite intimidating, especially if you're only starting your journey through the lovely paths of the golf course. However, as you evolve and become more adept at different styles of play and courses, you’ll discover that you can use some of the hazards to your own advantage, while others inevitably go against you.

Different factors can affect the way you perceive these hazards, the main being your opponents. If you’re playing against yourself, trying to win an all-time score, each of the hazards is your own obstacle. However, when you’re playing against another player, these hazards become your opponent’s obstacles as well, which is something to keep in mind.

What can you do to successfully overcome these obstacles? One way to master them and their potential advantages is to equip yourself with your finest clubs and pick the best golf wedges for mid-handicappers, but is it enough? What you also need to do is gather up substantial knowledge about them.

Why do golf courses have hazards?

The primary function of hazards is to make players create a strategy, incur potential penalties, and suggest to the player to carefully think about opting for a different route. They affect the intensity with which a golfer attacks the hole or the type of stroke he or she can play. Their diversity and effect on golfer’s play, both mental and physical, are what make the courses endearing and unique.  

However, hazards are also there for aesthetic qualities, making each course unique and more attractive for both the players and the potential spectators. Finally, their design often follows natural features of the terrain in order to preserve them whenever it’s possible. 

What are the types of hazards on the golf course?

When golfers discuss hazards, they typically mean anything that’s an obstacle on their way to a perfect score. However, the official rules say there are only two official categories of hazards present on various golf courses:


Waterfalls, ponds, and meandering streams make the golf course beautiful and unique, but they also add an exciting challenge to each visit to each round of golf. When you reach a stream, the sounds and energy of the flowing water provide some moments of tranquility. However, they don’t last for too long since you’ll quickly realize you need to keep the ball as far away from it as possible. 

Originally, the strategy of the game didn’t involve a lot of water bodies, but today, streams, ponds, creeks, wetlands, and lakes make a prevalent part of golf courses worldwide. 


Bunkers are hazards that have the ability to intimidate, delight, excite, and penalize players all at the same time. They intimidate players of any level due to their magnitude and depth, and if you land in one of them, it delights your opponents. They evolved in order to penalize bad execution.  

Whether they have high flashy sand, grass-faced banks, turf islands in the middle, or convoluted fingers, they provide a special sort of flow throughout the course, and can set it apart from others. 

Other types of hazards

You may face other amusing and not-so-amusing obstacles in an attempt to find the shortest way to the hole. Even if you boast your best golf wedge for 2022, they can be more or less difficult in comparison to water and bunkers, but you should certainly look to avoid them. These include:

  • Vegetation: Tall grass, plants and trees can be tricky opponents on the golf course. Making a shot into the overgrown bush or tall trees will significantly affect setting up your next stroke or even lead to completely losing a shot.
  • Wind: The impact of natural elements such as wind can pose a significant obstacle, but also help you make an excellent hit. Since it varies constantly, it’s always a refreshing attribute that ensures you play each hole a bit differently, depending on the strength and direction of the wind.
  • How do I deal with the golf course hazards?

    While you should always strive to keep your ball out of any hazards, the reality is a bit different, and you’ll occasionally end up in one. The good news is that you do have options to choose from and continue your play following one of them:

    Play the ball as it is

    You can always choose to continue playing from the ball’s location, unless, of course, it’s underwater. However, you should think carefully before making this decision. If you’re not sure whether you’re able to make firm contact with the ball and get it back to the fairway, it would be wiser to go for another option. 

    Stroke & distance relief

    This option is practically the same as when you strike it out of bounds and brings the most penalties of all the other options. If you go for it, you receive a one-stroke penalty and must return to where you made the last stroke. You should only choose this option if none other is possible. 

    Back on the line relief

    While this is one of the best options to take, it’s often the most confusing one as well. First, you need to identify the spot where the ball crossed the line of the hazard. Next, use that spot and the flagstick of the hole to draw a line. You can drop the ball on that line as far back as you’d like and the penalty is one stroke. 

    Lateral relief

    The lateral relief option is available for red hazards only. You identify the point where the ball crossed the line, then you can drop the ball within the length of two clubs. The penalty is one stroke. However, the spot where you place the ball can’t be closer to the hole than the point where the ball entered the hazard. 

    Who offers the best golf wedges for mid-handicappers in 2022?

    Mastering your golfing skills involves a lot of aspects including the versatility of course grass types, the characteristics of different course styles, as well as the variety of ways to play your game. Being aware of the elements the course comprises and other important course characteristics provides you with a full scope of knowledge and allows you to progress smoothly. 

    However, the one thing you can’t do without is the first-class equipment from BombTech Golf! We design, manufacture and meticulously test advanced clubs and equipment designed to give you an edge over your friends and competitors. We boast affordable prices and premium quality, providing our clients with the best gaming experience. What’s more, we offer a 60-day return policy designed for your maximum peace of mind. Visit our website today.

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