Monday, February 1, 2016
Ask Linda #1245-Ball flies over water hazard and lands in lateral hazard
Another question which you may be able to clear up. From the tee box there is a water hazard in front and to the side there is a lateral hazard.
If the ball is hit into the lateral hazard without touching the ground, where should the penalty drop take place? Some people say that as it didn’t hit the ground then it must be taken before the water hazard (between the tee box & water hazard).
I’ve attached a rough sketch.
Lou from Sri Lanka
Your ball crossed three hazard margins on its way into the lateral water hazard – the front and back margins of a water hazard, and the left margin of the lateral water hazard. Relief from any water hazard is based on where the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard. Your ball last crossed the margin of the lateral water hazard, so one of your relief options is the two-club-length drop provided in Rule 26-1c (drop within two club-lengths of the spot where your ball crossed the margin into the lateral water hazard, no closer to the hole). Since there is no possibility of dropping on the opposite side of the lateral hazard (that side is marked out of bounds), your only other relief option is to replay your tee shot (play a ball under stroke and distance).
If you drop behind the water hazard, as your friends suggest, you will be dropping in a wrong place.
There is no requirement that your ball hit the ground before it enters a hazard. The only consideration is where the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard. If your ball had not crossed any land on the way into the lateral water hazard, it would have last crossed the margin of the yellow-staked water hazard. In this case, your relief would be behind the yellow-staked water hazard. This may explain your friends’ confusion.
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