Friday, May 14, 2010

Ask Linda #203-Water hazard confusion

Hi Linda….On the attached diagram …the ball is struck from A and bounces off the tree and enters water hazard at B….X is within 2 club lengths from the point of entry and is no nearer the hole…..Is it OK to take a drop at X….with the appropriate penalty……..Thanking you……..Lou Lou

Dear Lou Lou,

Since I am unable to import your diagram into the blog, I am going to describe the situation for my readers.

The ball is hit over a yellow-staked water hazard. It hits a tree on the far side, and ricochets into the hazard. Lou wants to know whether he can take relief on the green side of the hazard, since there exists a spot within two club-lengths that is no closer to the hole.

The answer, Lou, is an unequivocal “no.” You need to ask yourself: Where is the ball? The answer is that it is in the water hazard. You must proceed under one of the relief options under the water hazard rule [26-1]. If you choose the line-of-sight option, remember that your reference point is where the ball LAST crossed the margin of the hazard. In this case, it last crossed at a point on the far side of the hazard. Look at the hole, draw a line through that point, continue that line straight across the hazard and drop somewhere along an extension of that line.

REMEMBER: If your ball is in a water hazard (yellow stakes), and you are taking relief, your next shot will have to be hit OVER the water. The only time you may not have to hit over the water when taking relief is if your ball is in a lateral hazard (red stakes).

Readers, this particular question comes up frequently. There are golfers who mistakenly believe that since their ball hit on the other side of the hazard before it rolled or ricocheted back in, they are therefore entitled to hit from the green side of the hazard. Once again, this is not the case. The Rules of Golf explain how to proceed from where your ball has come to rest–they care not for how it arrived there.


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