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Water Hazards (Including Lateral Water Hazards)

Relief for Ball in Water Hazard
It is a question of fact whether a ball lost after having been struck toward a water hazard is lost inside or outside the hazard. In order to treat the ball as lost in the hazard, there must be reasonable evidence that the ball lodged in it. In the absence of such evidence, the ball must be treated as a lost ball and Rule 27 applies.
If a ball is in or is lost in a water hazard (whether the ball lies in water or not), the player may under penalty of one stroke:

a. Play a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played (see Rule 20-5); or

b. Drop a ball behind the water hazard, keeping the point at which the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind the water hazard the ball may be dropped; or

c. As additional options available only if the ball last crossed the margin of a lateral water hazard, drop a ball outside the water hazard within two club-lengths of and not nearer the hole than (i) the point where the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard or (ii) a point on the opposite margin of the water hazard equidistant from the hole.

The ball may be lifted and cleaned when proceeding under this Rule.

See also: Prohibited actions when ball is in a hazard

See also: Ball moving in water in a water hazard

Ball Played Within Water Hazard
a. Ball Comes to Rest in Same or Another Water Hazard
If a ball played from within a water hazard comes to rest in the same or another water hazard after the stroke, the player may:

(i) proceed under Rule 26-1a. If, after dropping in the hazard, the player elects not to play the dropped ball, he may:

(a) with reference to this hazard, proceed under Rule 26-1b, or if applicable Rule 26-1c, adding the additional penalty of one stroke prescribed by that Rule; or
(b) add an additional penalty of one stroke and play a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the last stroke from outside a water hazard was made (see Rule 20-5); or

(ii) proceed under Rule 26-1b, or if applicable Rule 26-1c; or

(iii) under penalty of one stroke, play a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the last stroke from outside a water hazard was made (see Rule 20-5).

b. Ball Lost or Unplayable Outside Hazard or Out of Bounds
If a ball played from within a water hazard is lost or declared unplayable outside the hazard or is out of bounds, the player may, after taking a penalty of one stroke under Rule 27-1 or 28a:

(i) play a ball as nearly as possible at the spot in the hazard from which the original ball was last played (see Rule 20-5); or

(ii) proceed under Rule 26-1b, or if applicable Rule 26-1c, adding the additional penalty of one stroke prescribed by the Rule and using as the reference point the point where the original ball last crossed the margin of the hazard before it came to rest in the hazard; or

(iii) add an additional penalty of one stroke and play a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the last stroke from outside the hazard was made (see Rule 20-5).

Note 1: When proceeding under Rule 26-2b, the player is not required to drop a ball under Rule 27-1 or 28a. If he does drop a ball, he is not required to play it. He may alternatively proceed under Rule 26-2b(ii) or (iii).

Note 2: If a ball played from within a water hazard is declared unplayable outside the hazard, nothing in Rule 26-2b precludes the player from proceeding under Rule 28b or c.

Penalty for breach of rule:
Match play – Loss of hole; Stroke play – Two strokes.

One Trackback

  1. By Golf Rules and Decisions on March 17, 2009 at 3:48 am

    […] 24. Obstructions 25. Abnormal Ground Conditions, Embedded Ball, and Wrong Putting Green 26. Water Hazards (Including Lateral Water Hazards) 27. Ball Lost or Out of Bounds; Provisional Ball 28. Ball unplayable 29. Threesomes and foursomes […]