Obstacle golf is a fairly popular game among the many other forms of golf games. This particular type is a bit intricate to deal with given the rules and the level of skill needed. We are here to explain the basics of the obstacle golf in case you’re not familiar with it.
What Is Obstacle Golf?
As the name suggests, obstacle golf is a type of golf where players have to face obstacles that may prove to be perilous to their scores. Such areas of a golf course are termed as “hazards”.
In a general view, an obstacle may be a tall tree, a rough area to hit the ball, or a water lake. In other words, an obstacle or hazard can be considered anything on a golf course that is schemed to authorize impediments and penalties.
When the golf ball gets into an obstacle area, special rules are applied. For instance, a player must not touch the ground with his golf club before hitting the ball. He may not even be allowed for a practice swing. Also, it may be permissible to play it as it is even inside a hazardous area. If the ball cannot be played, he may play from another location.
Obstacles are categorized into two types. The first one is the man-made obstacles such as bunkers. The other one is the natural obstacles like lakes, rivers, etc.
The governing bodies of golf no longer use shallow terms as “hazard” anymore. They use two terms to specify the obstacles or hazards that are “bunkers” and “penalty area”. The term “penalty area” is used instead of water obstacles.
A bunker is a large area inside a golf course which is generally a combination of sandy or pebbly areas. Such areas are the depressions near the green or fairway that are occupied with sand. As one can assume, it’s extremely hard to the ball once inside the bunkers.
That is why a specially designed club called “sand wedge” is used to extract the golf from the bunkers. Even so, it takes precise skill and control to get the process done.
Putting the ball into the bunkers comes with some specific handicaps. For example, the club must not touch the ground once in a bunker before swinging.
Types of Bunkers
In golf course designing, three types of bunkers are typically used.
Such bunkers are named so because they are designed to be on the sides of a fairway or even inside it. Once inside a fairway bunker, wayward tee shots on par 4 and par 5 holes are gathered up.
These bunkers are located near the green side of the course. They are designed to gather up tee shots on par 3 holes and to take a wayward approach for long holes.
These are natural sandy areas. They tend to be huge and are not considered as an impediment by the governing bodies. Golfers are permitted to hit the ground with their clubs and remove the obstacles around the ball unlike the other two types of bunkers.
Water hazards are the natural obstacles made of streams, lakes, bays, or ponds to act as impediments as well as to add to the aesthetics of the golf course. These areas of a golf course are termed as “penalty areas” nowadays.
Types of Water Hazards
There are two types of water Hazards. They are lateral water hazards and standard water hazards.
Lateral Water Hazards
These hazards are usually marked by red stakes around the perimeter. When a golfer drops the ball in a red-stake lateral water hazard, they have two options to choose from. They can either take relief or take a 1-stroke penalty.
Standard Water Hazards
Standard water hazards are marked with yellow stakes around the perimeter. The player will not get a free relief if his ball becomes unplayable due to the stakes within the hazard. Free relief is only available when the ball and stakes are outside of the water hazard area.
Obstacle golf may have some complicated rules to deal with, but they’re to be studied thoroughly if one aims to become a top-notch golfer. This particular type of golf is fun to play as we as to watch. The rules are fairly easy to remember and be aware of, so there shouldn’t be any qualm about learning them.