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Relief from Water Hazards Lateral Water Hazard (red stakes)


By Ryan Gregg, Director of Education and Rules


While there is still a bit of confusion surrounding the incident that occurred with Tiger Woods at the 2013 Masters, it is probably a good idea to review the procedures for taking relief from water hazards and lateral water hazards.


The 12th green at Spyglass Hill has a lateral water hazard


(red stakes), meaning players have the extra options of


dropping within two club lengths of the last entry point, or dropping at a point on the


opposite margin of the water hazard equidistant from the hole.


First, you need to under- stand what a water hazard is. It is any sea, lake, pond, river, ditch, surface drainage ditch or other open water course (whether or not it contains water) and any- thing of a similar nature on the course. (A lateral water hazard is a water hazard or part of a water hazard situ- ated in such a manner that it is impractical to proceed under 26-1b—dropping behind the hazard on a line extending from the flagstick through the point where the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard).


Email RYAN at rgregg@ncga.org 64 / NCGA.ORG / SUMMER 2013


It is common that when all of the options under Rule 26 are not available to a player, the committee will install a drop zone by a water hazard.


A player can drop two club lengths from the last entry point (no nearer to the hole) if the ball is hit into a lateral water hazard.


Second, you need to understand when your ball lies in a water hazard. A ball is in the hazard when any part of it touches the hazard. A line that defines the hazard is considered to be part of the hazard. If there are no lines, the outside points of the stakes at ground level define the hazard. A ball that touches either a stake or a line is considered to be lying in the hazard and you may proceed under the options of Rule 26. The margins of a water hazard extend upwards and downwards. If your ball is in a water


hazard (yellow stakes and/or


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