Friday, September 25, 2015

Ask Linda #1157-Relief from logs piled for removal in water hazard

Is a player (me in this case) entitled to relief from debris which has been piled for removal inside a marked lateral hazard?

The situation: I hit a poor shot, which drifted towards a patch of woods. When I got to the area where we guessed the ball would be, we found that it was marked as a hazard because here in Florida it was a swampy area. We then found the ball within the hazard, luckily in a spot where the ball could ordinarily be fairly struck at and advanced. However, as part of ongoing tree removal work on the course, there was a pile of logs of varying diameter and about 3' long, stacked into a column within the hazard, and as luck would have it the logs were preventing me from taking a stance & swing. A club member who was in my group assured me that the logs were indeed 'debris piled for removal' and we happened to see the same situation in two other places on the course.

We were unsure if relief should have been in order, so I played two balls under 3-3. I made a bogey when I took 'conventional' relief, and saved par when I dropped within the hazard but away from the column of logs. Thank you.

Lou from Panama City Beach, Florida

Dear Lou,

No. A player is not entitled to free relief from debris piled for removal in a water hazard. You must play the ball as it lies or choose one of the relief options for a ball in a water hazard in Rule 26-1, all of which include a one-stroke penalty [Rule 25-1, Note 1].

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