Tuesday, October 21, 2014
We have a hole that has a yellow-staked hazard a short distance in from the tees. This hazard crosses the entire width of the fairway. A missed tee shot can put you in there.
Today one of our players missed her shot, saw the ball enter the hazard and played a second ball. After everyone teed off and we rode across the bridge to the fairway, we saw the ball in the hazard.
Question: There isn't much water in the hazard these days, and the ball was in an area that was dry, but with typical hazard growth in it. The ball was sitting up in a spot where it looked like you could get make decent contact. If our player had called her second ball a provisional, could she have climbed down into the hazard and hit it?
Lulu from Florida
Unfortunately, no. A player is not permitted to hit a provisional ball for a ball that she has hit into a water hazard.
A player is permitted, of course, to hit her ball as it lies from a water hazard. However, the player lost that chance when she played a second ball from the tee under the stroke and distance relief option for a ball in a water hazard [Rule 26-1a]. Once a ball has been put into play under stroke and distance, it becomes the ball in play.
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