No matter how hard you practise you will be confronted on the golf course by interesting circumstances caused by outside influences or just plain bad luck.
How do you react?
Do you moan and curse your bad luck, give up and wish that you were not on the golf course at all or do you make the best of the challenge facing you and try to get the best result that you can?
If you are armed with adequate information on how the ball will react in these circumstances you will be better prepared from a mental perspective to play the shot with more confidence.
Let us consider just a few of these interesting scenarios:
Ball in a sanded divot on the fairway
You will be left scratching your head when a perfect drive finishes in a divot but you must have a positive outlook on a negative situation.
The sanded divot is just a mini bunker on the fairway and the shot should be executed as a bunker shot.
Take one extra club, swing smoothly, play the ball slightly further back in the stance, swing slightly steeper on the backswing and concentrate on keeping the lower half of your body quiet through the shot.
Mud on the ball
Even if you have played the game of golf for a long time you should not question the fairness of this situation.
However the key to handling this event is to understand how the mud affects ball flight.
As a rule of thumb, the ball will go in the opposite direction to the mud.
If the mud is on the left of the ball it will tend to go to the right and visa versa
The added complication is that the harder you hit the ball the more it spins and will veer even further off line.
The answer is to allow for the change in flight with your alignment, take one extra club, swing smoothly and do not quit on the shot.
Partially submerged ball in a water hazard
If your ball is in a hazard and under water take your medicine, the penalty shot and get on with the game.
However when the ball is only partly submerged, you will have an urge to play it from the hazard but this usually end with you soaking wet and the ball still in the water.
It is not the most difficult shot if you apply the correct technique.
Take off your shoes and socks, put on the waterproof suit and play the shot like an explosion bunker shot.
Open the stance and club face, position the ball forward in the stance, hinge the wrists early on the backswing, focus on a spot one inch behind the ball and swing 50% harder than normal and do not quit on the shot.
If you follow these simple instructions the shots will not appear quite as daunting and can even appear fun at times.