Monday, October 5, 2015

Ask Linda #1163-Ball crosses water in hazard

Linda, if a person hits a ball across a water hazard and clears the water in the hazard but the ball rests on the ground in the water hazard between the water and the hazard yellow stakes on the far side of the hazard, what are their options?

Thank you,
Lulu from South Carolina

Dear Lulu,

If your ball has not passed beyond the stakes, the ball is in the hazard. Under penalty of one stroke, you may return to where you hit your previous shot and play another ball (this is known as “stroke and distance”), or you may drop a ball on the tee side of the hazard on the line-of-sight to the hole [Rule 26-1]. Either way, you will have to cross the hazard with your next shot. Of course, if your ball is playable in the hazard, you may avoid the one-stroke penalty and hit it as it lies

I answered a related question in June of 2008. A reader wanted to know what to do if his ball crossed the hazard, landed beyond the yellow stakes, and rolled back into the hazard. Here is what I wrote:

“If you hit a ball over a water hazard that is marked entirely with yellow stakes and the ball lands past the hazard boundary on the other side and then rolls back into the hazard, you must drop that ball BEHIND the hazard. Perhaps the best way to remember this is to ask yourself: Where is the ball? In this case, it is in the water hazard. The relief options for a ball in a water hazard require that you hit the ball across the hazard. The only difference when your ball crosses a water hazard and rolls back in is that your point of reference for taking relief is where the ball LAST crossed the margin of the hazard. Note where your ball rolled back into the hazard; draw an imaginary line from the hole, through that point, across the hazard and back as far as you wish; drop anywhere on that line.” You may also play the ball under stroke and distance, or play it as it lies in the hazard.

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