Rule 26 : WATER HAZARDS (part 1)
NB: Water Hazards and Lateral Water Hazards are 2 different things.
Water Hazards are marked by yellow stakes/lines.
Lateral Water Hazards are marked by red stakes/lines; we will look at these next week.
Historically, Water Hazards marked with yellow stakes/lines are the lakes, ponds or streams that ordinarily, you must cross in order to reach a green or fairway. In other words, negotiating the water hazard is a fundamental element or challenge in playing the hole. There are many examples at Kenwick, notably the 10th and 17th holes. I say ‘ordinarily’, because of course, a player may choose to avoid the Water Hazard by putting their ball along the path, but that was not the expectation of the course designers.
If your ball comes to rest in a Water Hazard, you have 3 options :
Play the ball as it lies – no penalty
Play another shot from the spot from which the original ball was last played, referred to as ‘stroke and distance’ – under penalty of one stroke.
Draw an imaginary line between the point at which yourball last crossed the margin of the Water Hazard and the hole, then drop a ball backwards along that line. You can go back as far as you like – under penalty of one stroke.
Note how this is different from the unplayable ball rule, where you draw the line from the ball and the hole. Here, it is the point where you ball last crossed the margin of the hazard.
Sometimes it is more complicated and the ball may cross the margin of the Water Hazard several times. You must be vigilant in working out where it last crossed the margin. It is important to remember that there are yellow lines ‘all the way round’ the hazard.
I hope that makes sense. Knowing this rule will help you sometimes!