Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Ask Linda #1433-Drop on opposite side of lateral water hazard
Our Club has a long dogleg left that has a lateral water hazard (15-yard-wide creek) that runs parallel to and left of the first 300 yards of the hole and then crosses the fairway in the crook of the dogleg. Because it's lateral, players who hit their tee shots in the hazard have the option of dropping on the opposite side. Most players drop at a point directly across from where they entered the hazard. However, doing that results in their ball being closer to the hole. If they want to drop on the opposite side, aren't they required to drop further back to allow for the 15 yards they pick up by crossing the creek?
Lou from Western Springs, Illinois
You bet they are!
Players choosing to take advantage of the option to drop on the opposite side of a lateral water hazard must drop within two club-lengths of a point that is just as far from the hole as the point from which they would have dropped on the side where the ball entered the hazard. Rarely does this mean going straight across the hazard.
Tell your friends to imagine they have stretched a cord from the hole to the point where their ball last crossed the margin of the hazard. Holding onto that cord, hop over the hazard. They must drop a ball no closer to the hole than the full length of that cord. This is what is meant in Rule 26-1c by “a point on the opposite margin of the water hazard equidistant from the hole.”
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