Sunday, December 27, 2015

Ask Linda #1220-Ball dropped outside hazard, stance in hazard

Hi Linda,

I hope you can help with the following situation:
A player's ball lands in a lateral water hazard and that player decides to take the option of dropping within the two-club-length zone adjacent to the point where the ball last crossed the lateral water hazard stakes or line. On dropping the ball, the ball lands close to but not inside the water hazard and the player now either stands inside the water hazard either in a dry or wet area. Is this allowed or is the player allowed to re-drop the ball?
Lou from Bahrain

Dear Lou,

A player may stand in a hazard to hit a ball. While Rule 26-1c provides a two-club-length drop outside a lateral water hazard for the ball, there is no provision provided for relief from your stance.

Don't confuse the Water Hazard Rule [Rule 26] with the Immovable Obstruction or Abnormal Ground Condition Rules [Rules 24 and 25]. The latter two require complete relief for stance and area of intended swing, and you must re-drop if your drop does not give you complete relief. There is no such provision in Rule 26.

Rule 26-1c provides a two-club-length drop for a ball in a lateral water hazard. The player must re-drop if the ball rolls back into the hazard [Rule 20-2c (i)]. There is no requirement to re-drop if your stance ends up in the hazard after you drop. If you read Rule 20-2c (v) very carefully, you will see that relief for stance is not available under the Water Hazard Rule. The relief in Rule 26 is for the ball only – there is no mention of relief for stance.

As long as the ball has been dropped correctly and comes to rest in the prescribed area, the drop is “good” and the player must play the ball as it lies.


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