Friday, August 7, 2015

Ask Linda #1122-Cart path in water hazard

Hi Linda,
A cart path crosses a lateral water hazard. I believe because the margins of the hazard go upward then the bridge would be part of the water hazard. I have read Decision 13-4/30 & know I can ground my club while on the cart path & can hit my ball off of the cart path.
The discussion is: My ball lies on the middle of the cart path--do I get free relief from this cart path which is over the lateral water hazard? In other words--do I get free relief from this cart path as I would any other?
I say no, because I feel the ball is on the cart path which is over the lateral hazard---so my ball is in the water hazard. My head professional says I do get free relief!!!
So is a cart path that crosses over a lateral water hazard part of the hazard or not!!!???? Can't find the rule anywhere for this!!!
Lulu from Naples, Florida

Dear Lulu,

You know your stuff. The margin of a water hazard does indeed extend upward. The source for this information is the Definition of “Water Hazard” in the front of the rulebook.

Since the margin extends upward, everything within the lines (including the lines themselves) or stakes (including the stakes, if they define the hazard) is in the hazard. Any part of a bridge over a hazard that is within the lines or stakes is in the hazard. Since it is an obstruction in the hazard, you may touch it with a club; since it is not on the ground, you may ground your club [Decision 13-4/30].

There is no free relief for a ball lying on a bridge in a hazard, since the bridge and your ball are in the hazard. If you decide not to hit the ball from the bridge, your relief is the same as for a ball in a water hazard. Add one penalty stroke to your score and choose one of the relief options in Rule 26.

I am disappointed to learn, once again, that a golf professional is not familiar with the definition of a water hazard.

Copyright © 2015 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.