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Should I Always Play Safe Around Hazards On The Golf Course?The aim of golf is to get the ball around the course in the lowest number of shots possible. When you are faced with a hazard out on the golf course, the aim is to still take the lowest number of shots possible to complete the hole.

Bearing this in mind, whether you should play safe around the hazards that you face really does depend upon whether you feel you can successfully play the shot.

If you are facing hitting the ball over water, for example, and you know that nine times out of 10 you play that shot successfully, then take the shot on rather than playing safe. Hitting the ball successfully over the water in one shot, rather than playing a safer shot around the water hazard and then having to play an additional shot on to the green.

However, if you can only successfully complete the shot over the water 3 or 4 times out of 10, then youll achieve a lower score if you now play safe. Hitting the ball into the water and then having to take a penalty shot will produce a higher score than playing safe.

When you are faced with a hazard or a difficult situation out on the golf course, play safe if you feel that there is less than 25% chance that you will successfully play the shot. Be realistic with this. If realistically you would only complete the shot successfully two or three times out of 10, then play safe.

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If your mindset is to always play safe around hazards then you are being quite negative in your approach. It is correct that you wont need to take any penalty shots, but you may well be playing too many shots and you are capable of a much lower score. If you can complete the shot that you are faced with 75% or more times then take the shot on and watch your scores fall.

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If you decide to attack every shot and go for everything when you play, then you may well be being too aggressive. You should always set up over the golf ball to play a shot with confidence. But there is a difference between confidence and stupidity. Confidence is being positive and this comes from knowing you can play a shot well a high percentage of times when it is required. If you just go for everything that you face, then you need to be able to actually make those shots, otherwise you will be taking penalty shots when your attempt fails and you will see your score rise.

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Although the flag is the desired ultimate destination for every hole, well designed golf holes will often require the sensible golfer to make a decision whether to play towards the flag or around a hazard. Use your course management skills and employ a risk and reward strategy before you play each shot.