Monday, August 10, 2015

Ask Linda #1123-Find original outside hazard after taking relief

Hi Linda,

I hit a drive that I believed had come to rest in a lateral hazard. I took relief from the point of entry straight back on line with the hole. After playing my 3rd shot with that dropped ball, I found that my original drive had actually carried all the way through the hazard and ended up in play. I played out the hole with the ball I had dropped and picked up my original drive. Could I have played my original drive instead, or was that ball out of play once I took relief from the hazard? Should there have been an additional penalty for taking relief from a hazard that my ball ended up not actually being in?

Lou from Tucson, Arizona

Dear Lou,

If it was known or virtually certain that your ball was in the hazard, your procedure was correct. As soon as you drop another ball on the line of sight to the hole, it becomes your ball in play and you may not play the original ball [Decision 26-1/3.5]. The original is lost under the Rules [Definition of “Lost Ball”].

The penalty is one stroke for taking relief from a water hazard. There is no additional penalty for finding your original outside the hazard. While it is unusual, it is not unheard of to find your ball outside a hazard when you and your fellow competitors are certain it entered the hazard. The Rules only require virtual certainty that your ball lies in the hazard.

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