Friday, September 16, 2016

Ask Linda #1381-Unmarked hazard

On our course we have two dried up ponds that were originally designed as water hazards. They are not marked in any way. I was told that the hazard line should be played at the mow line of the grass. I say if it’s not marked, it’s not a hazard and you can ground your club in the high grass. What's the correct way to play those holes? Thanks.
Lou from Columbia, Pennsylvania

Dear Lou,

A pond that no longer contains water does not lose its status as a water hazard [Definition of “Water Hazard”]. If your ball lies in this dried-up pond, it is in a water hazard.

Simply because a hazard has not been marked does not absolve the player of the responsibility of knowing that his ball lies in a water hazard. When you encounter an unmarked water hazard, the rule of thumb is to establish the margin where the ground breaks down to form the hazard. It is also acceptable for the Committee to define the cut line (where the mowed grass meets the high grass) as the margin. You may not ground your club in the high grass that is in the hazard.

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