Golf Rules ~ Water Hazards
Lateral Water Hazards ~ Golf Rule 26
Lateral water hazards like the name implies are lateral to the field of play and can be fully or in part designated as such. This designation is a result of the impracticality or impossibility of dropping a ball behind the point of entry in accordance with Rule 26-1b. These hazards are marked with a red line and or red stakes. All ground and water within the hazard line is designated to be hazard as well as the line and the stakes themselves. The stakes are treated as movable obstructions and can be removed under Rule 24-1. The ball can be cleaned when proceeding under this rule.
There are several options for a player who has hit the ball in a lateral water hazard.
1. The ball can be played from within the hazard without grounding his club.
2. The ball can be played, under penalty of one stroke, from the point nearest from which the previous stroke was played.
3. The ball can be played, under penalty of one stroke, within two club lengths of the point of entry no closer to the hole.
4. The ball can be played, under penalty of one stroke, at a point on the opposite side of the lateral water hazard equal distance from the hole at which the ball crossed the hazard.
Regular Water Hazards ~ Golf Rule 26
Regular water hazards or non-lateral water hazards are marked by yellow lines or stakes. The line and the stakes are again part of the hazard and everything within the margin is considered hazard. The image to the left is the TPC Sawgrass and is a pretty good example of a yellow lined “regular” hazard. It typically is a water hazard that is in front of the player as opposed to being to the side of play. There are also several options a player can take if he or she has hit the ball within the hazard.
1. The ball can be played within the hazard but the player cannot ground the club or bring it in contact with the water prior to the stroke.
2. The ball can be played, under penalty of one stroke, from the point closest to the position from which the last stroke was played.
3. The ball can be played, under penalty of one stroke, from a point behind the water hazard any distance the player chooses as long as the point of entry is kept between the hole and the point where it is dropped.
Ball Lost or Out of Bounds ~ Golf Rule 27
If a ball is out of bounds the player must, under penalty of one stroke, play another ball from a point as close as can be judged to the point from where the previous stroke was played. If the ball is lost and cannot be found within five minutes from the point from which the players started searching for it, the ball is deemed to be lost and again, under penalty of one stroke, the another ball must be played from a point as close as can be judged to the point it was previously struck. This is known as a “stroke and distance.” Also out of bounds is designated with white lines or stakes and both are within the out of bounds area.
Ball Unplayable ~ Golf Rule 28
If the ball is unplayable, deemed to be such by the player, anywhere on the course except within a water hazard a player may, under penalty of one stroke:
1. Under the stroke and distance, ouch, rule 27-1 play a ball as close to the point from which the previous stroke was played.
2. Keep the point where the ball was unplayable and drop the ball any distance behind the unplayable position keeping that point between the drop point and the hole.
3. Drop the ball two club lengths from the unplayable position no closer to the hole.
4. If the ball is in a sand bunker the player may proceed under any of 1, 2, or 3 above although if proceeding under 2 or 3 he must drop the ball within the bunker.
Embedded Ball ~ Golf Rule 25-2
A ball embedded in its own pitch mark IN A CLOSELY MOWN AREA through the green can be lifted cleaned and dropped, no closer to the hole to the point closest to where it was embedded without penalty. A closely mown area is any area through the green that is mowed to fairway height or less including areas mown to this height through the rough.
Obstructions ~ Golf Rule 24
A player can take relief without penalty from a movable obstruction as follows:
1. If the ball does not lie on the movable obstruction the obstruction can be removed and the player can then be allowed to play his or her next stroke. If the ball moves when removing the obstruction the ball is then replaced at the point where it originally lied.
2. If the ball lies on a movable obstruction the ball can be picked up, the obstruction removed, and drop the ball as close to where the ball would have rested underneath the obstruction no closer to the hole. In both of the above instances the ball can be cleaned before dropping.
When a ball is in motion, an obstruction that might influence the movement of the ball, other than equipment of any player or the flagstick when attended, removed or held up, must not be moved.
Interference by an immovable obstruction occurs when a ball lies on or in an obstruction or interferes with a players stance or area of his or her intended swing. Intervention on his or her line of intended play is not deemed interference under this rule. Relief is provided by dropping the ball within one club length of the closest relief, not closer to the hole, without penalty.
There are a few details I have left out of this page of common golf rules, but this should give most golfers satisfactory results. You can check out all the golf rules on this page of my site if interested. Remember all the golf rules are designed to dispense equity. Now it is your turn. Please let me know via the comment section below what is the one or top three rules that most golfers don’t know or at least do not adhere to on the golf course and perhaps give you the biggest source of anxiety. Finally be sure and share, like and +1 this post if you found it helpful. Again it helps my search rankings and thus improves my site and visibility and the feed back will enable me to provide better information in the future.