Thursday, March 29, 2018

Ask Linda #1729-Ball embedded in water hazard

Hello Linda,
Thanks for your very helpful website.
Our question:

A player makes a shot over a large water hazard (100m, yellow stakes) and the balls lands inside at the very end of the hazard. There is no water in the hazard and the ball is embedded in the mud.

Can the player declare the ball unplayable and, with one-stroke penalty, drop in the hazard, or has he to return to the spot were the ball crossed the hazard border?

Lou from Belgium

Dear Lou,

A player may declare his ball unplayable anywhere on the golf course except in a water hazard [Rule 28]. If the player is unable to hit his ball as it lies in the hazard, he must choose one of the relief options available to him in Rule 26-1. As this ball was embedded in a yellow-staked hazard, the player has two relief choices, both under penalty of one stroke:
• Play another ball under stroke and distance
• Drop a ball on the flagline
Both options will require the player to hit his ball over the hazard.

Please note that the player is not entitled to embedded-ball relief [Rule 25-2]. Relief for an embedded ball is limited to closely-mown areas through the green. If the Local Rule that extends relief for an embedded ball to all areas of the course that are through the green is in effect, the player would still not be entitled to relief – water hazards are not “through the green.”

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