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Executing a successful golf shot over a water hazard is a common complaint and a couple of suggestions come to mind. One of them is to simply avoid playing any courses with water hazards.
If you are unable to do that, then I suggest you try hitting the ball "down into the water" rather than "up and over it." Most golfers with this problem try to help the ball up and over the water by lifting. This is a natural reaction as in most round ball sports or games in order to get a ball "up and over" something we must lift it.
In golf the loft of the clubface does the lifting, any lifting on our part totally defeats this purpose. When facing something like a water hazard, where we want the ball to get up and over, we instinctively feel this need to lift and automatically do it. However, when we lift, we lift all of the club including the clubface and head, which then hits only the upper portion of the ball, resulting in a topped shot. Consequently, a topped shot goes downward and directly into the water.
The opposite of lifting is to feel like you are hitting the ball downwards and into the water. When you do this, you actually drive the club head down under the ball and the lofted clubface lifts the ball up and over the water.
So, on your next round, try to hit the ball directly into the water. Once you successfully do this, you will know it works, and your fear of water hazards will stop.
Sincerely, a friend to any golfer. Pat Dolan Golf Pro.
Pat Dolan, Golf Professional, specialized in teaching for over 42 years.
The late Pat Dolan taught golf at such prestigious golf courses as "The Colonial Country Club" in Fort Worth, Texas, "The Country Club" in Salt Lake City, Utah and "The Palm Springs Country Club" in the world famous golfing resort of Palm Springs, California. He was the Head Professional at the "The Russell Municipal Golf Course" in Russell, Kansas, "The Jal Country Club" in Jal, New Mexico and "The Riveria Golf Course" in Palm Springs, California. He graduated from the second PGA. school in January 1958. It was held at the PGA. National Headquarters in Dunedin, Florida. He served as chairman of the education committee for the New Mexico Chapter of the Southwest Section of the PGA. for 2 years 1965 and 1966.
Golfers Lee Trevino, Sandra Palmer, Carlynne Whitworth and General James Wilson sought his advice before they became famous.
In his playing career he won a number of professional tournaments and set 7 course records.
He wrote "How to Turn Bogeys Into Birdies" (c)1988" and "The Worlds Greatest Golf Teacher" (c)1994. Pat also authored two newspaper golf columns and a golf advice letter Golfers Improving Easily and Affordably, guaranteed to instantly improve any golfers game.
His business career included serving as consultant to many golf course owners and The Tony Llama Boot Co. The Braille Institute and the John Riley Golf Co. also as loan officer of the Clarendon Trust Co. in Arlington, Virginia and sales manager for various companies. He is the designer of the Sure Out sand wedge in the Ben Hogan line of clubs.
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