Friday, June 3, 2016

Ask Linda #1318-Ball clears hazard and rolls back in

Thanks for your help over the years.
Can you let me know the correct ruling when a ball (golfer's second shot) clears a yellow-staked water hazard and hits a greenside tree, which causes the ball to deflect back into the hazard on the fly? Where can the ball be placed for the golfer's fourth shot?
Many thanks,
Lou from Ladysmith, British Columbia, Canada

Dear Lou,

It is not how the ball got there, but where the ball lies that determines your procedure. Ask yourself: “Where is the ball?” The answer in this case is that it is in the hazard. You may play the ball as it lies, or choose one of the relief options in Rule 26-1:
• Play another ball from where you hit your previous shot (this is called “stroke and distance”); or
• Drop a ball behind the hazard on the flagline. (Use the point where the ball crossed the margin of the hazard after ricocheting off the tree to establish the flagline.)
Both of these options include a one-stroke penalty, and both of them require that you hit your next shot over the hazard.

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