Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Hoping you can clear up something that actually happened.
I hit a ball over a pond/hazard. It hit a tree on the side of the hazard up in the branches, and then got flung back into the hazard without ever touching the ground. Has the ball cleared the hazard and the point of entry is on the other side of the pond, or is it deemed to never have cleared the hazard?
To make matters more complicated, on the side where the tree is situated, one area of the pond is marked with red stakes, and then it becomes marked with yellow stakes (really for another hole that runs along and approaches from that other side of the pond). What if it's not easy to determine whether it re-entered the pond/hazard over the yellow or red stakes?
Help! And thanks.
Lou from Toronto, Canada
This question is difficult to answer without personal knowledge of the hole.
By definition, the margin of a water hazard extends vertically upwards. If the ball hit any part of the tree that overhangs the hazard, your point of reference for determining where to drop your ball is on the near side of the pond, where the ball first crossed the margin. If the ball hit a part of the tree that is outside the margin of the hazard, it last crossed the margin on the far side, so your point of reference for taking relief is on the far side.
Please remember that your ball is in the hazard. Unless it last crossed the margin where it is marked with red stakes, your relief will be behind the hazard (i.e., you will have to hit over the hazard on your next shot).
You will have to decide whether the ball last crossed the hazard where it is marked with red or yellow stakes. I cannot make that determination for you. Do your best, and try to get some help from your fellow golfers.
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