Ignoring those Water Hazards
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.
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