Thursday, October 26, 2017

Ask Linda #1632-Ball hit towards hazard not visible from tee

Hi Linda,
The first hole at my club has a water hazard that's in play from the tee. It's about 250 yards out and maybe ten yards left of the fairway. It's not a very big pond, but it's there. 

The problem is that it's not visible from the tee and there are some trees and a little bit of high grass around it. During tournament play, what is the proper procedure if you hit a tee shot that appears likely to end up in the water? You can't be certain that it's in. 

Thank you,
Lou from Rye, NY

Dear Lou,

Since there is no knowledge or virtual certainty that the ball entered the hazard, and it is possible that it may be lost outside the hazard in the high grass, the player should hit a provisional ball [Rule 27-2a]. If he does not find the original ball, he must continue with the provisional, which would be fourth stroke on the hole.

If the area adjacent to the pond were closely mowed, such that you could be virtually certain that a ball not found was in the hazard, the player could choose any of the relief options in Rule 26-1.

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