So no ladies play day eh? So whatcha gonna do? Read Rules of course!
Discovery Bay Country Club has 16 of its 18 holes where water can come into play, ouch! Many of our seasoned members know exactly how to follow the Rules of Golf when their ball goes into the water, but our newer members may not. What I want to do today is to go over three difficult areas on our course where you may be unsure of what to do, and try to make it as easy as possible for you to understand what you do next, apart from using bad words.
Every time your ball goes into the water the very FIRST thing you should do, and most importantly is,
Identify the place where your ball last crossed the margin of the hazard as accurately as you can, or estimate that point as honestly as you can. Sometimes at long distances the “exact” point is hard to establish. Be realistic and honest. This is your reference point for Rule 26.
Secondly. Identify what color the stakes are in the area where your ball took its nosedive into the water hazard.
Yellow stakes or yellow lines: A water hazard. Three options
Red stakes or red lines: A lateral water hazard. Five options
A lateral hazard is different from a water hazard by the fact that it is, well, lateral ! It runs alongside or adjacent to the line of play, rather than across it, and it is difficult to drop a ball behind.
Ladies please don’t get worried over all the “options”, it’s simpler than it sounds and I have included a link at the bottom of the page with an extremely informative video from the USGA on Water Hazards. It will be worth your while to check it out, and you won’t even get wet!
Here we go.
Difficult and often misunderstood scenario 1. Hole #2
You played your ball from the teeing ground and it went across the water and you were sure it was going onto the green but…..it landed on the grass bank in front of the green and bounced back into the water! Rats……………………….Now what?
Identify the point where your ball last crossed the hazard and went in
What color are the stakes? Yellow
Here on hole #2 it makes no difference that your ball touched land first. Your ball crossed the margin of the hazard at the yellow stakes and ended up in the water.
1. Play the ball as it lies, no penalty, you can’t swim or even see it, therefore not an option.
2. With your reference point of where the ball last crossed the hazard when it bounced back into the water go back as far as you like in line with the pin and drop a ball. You could possibly be up against the boundary fence, under a tree, or maybe on the men’s teeing ground. One penalty stroke
3. Play a ball from where you made your last stroke, the teeing ground.
Your smartest choice is playing a ball again from the teeing ground. Take a one stroke penalty and try again.
Difficult and often misunderstood scenario 2 Hole #11
You hit from the teeing ground, your ball sails across the water but hits the rocks lining the hazard alongside the cart path, and takes huge bounce backwards into the water. This time it did not touch land on the other side. Now what?
Identify where your ball last crossed the hazard.
No, no, not at the rocks where your ball hit them but at the rocks right in front of you
What color are the stakes? Red.
Options? Really only 4 of the 5** are possible at this place
1. Again no swimming ….so you can’t play it as it lies….
2. As the stakes are red you have the option of dropping a ball within two club lengths from where your ball last crossed the hazard. Okay it’s a possible choice, but watch out the grass can be long there! One penalty stroke.
3. As far back as you like in line with the pin. You might end up on the men’s tee box, and also it could be extremely difficult to estimate the line accurately. One penalty stroke.
4. Play a ball from where you made your last stroke, the teeing ground.
My choice? I’d take the teeing ground. Take a one stroke penalty, and try again.
Difficult and often misunderstood scenario 3 The dreaded hole #17.
This hole is tricky, nasty tricky.
Let’s use the scenario that you hit from the teeing ground, your ball lands on the green, it bounces to the right, and rolls over the pilings and plops into the water. Unlucky you!
You saw where your ball went in……………….. Great!
What color are the stakes? Yellow
1. Again, (are we tired of this yet?) no swimming to play the ball where it lies
2. Drop a ball in line with the pin as far back as you like, ….you are gonna be in the water, or on the 18th fairway. Neither a nice place.
3. So yes, you’ve got it………… Play a ball again from the teeing ground.
Take a one stroke penalty, and try again!
Now ladies, please check out this video link below
You can actually see how the options work, (**including the rarely used by us “opposite margin option” for a lateral water hazard) Our golf course it not set up in a way that we could use it to our advantage, so please don’t worry too much about this option.
Let’s keep playing here, and learning the Rules of Golf, as simply as possible.
Any questions? Just ask me or send me an e mail.
I hope this helps you,