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Posts by ColinL

I'd be very interested to know in what way these areas in the photos meet the Definition of a water hazard.
 Not  allowed.   See Decision 4-1/5  http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Decision-04/#d4-1-5
That's right.  Apologies for  a sloppy response.  
Yes, a bunker is a hazard and yes you are not allowed to touch the ground of a hazard if your ball is lying in it. (Rule 13-4).    At the time you are recreating your lie, your ball has been lifted and is not lying in the hazard.   Rule 20-3b(iii) explicitly instructs you to recreate the lie anyway.  How could you be penalised for doing what a Rule tells you to do?
If the original lie in a bunker was altered by the rake hitting the ball, the lie should be recreated and the ball replaced.  See Rule 20-3b(iii)
In terms of Rule 14-3, yes unless there is a Local Rule permitting the use of a distance measuring device. If there is such a Local Rule then you are fine using a device like an iPhone to measure distance provided it doesn't also gauge or measure other things which could assist your play (e.g. barometric pressure, temperature, wind direction and speed .........).
I was watching at the time - couldn't believe it!
There is no rule of golf that prevents you playing to, from or along an adjacent fairway. The only way  this might be prevented is by  an internal out of bounds.  Your choice of shot in the situation described was entirely down to you.
It could be, of course, that the  golf course is on a peninsula so narrow that the course extends to both east and west sides, in which you are indeed on the freaking golf course after your circumnavigation.  Indeed you could save a lot of time by just walking from one side to the other and dropping a ball.   
Ok.   I put my ball into the sea on Machrihanish which is on the west side of the peninsula and opt to play from the opposite margin. I set sail and for the sake of argument let's say there is no landfall till I return to the east side of the peninsula. The first bit of  ground you come to if you cross a lateral water hazard has to be the opposite margin and so I have arrived at the opposite margin and just have work out an equidistant point and drop within 2 club lengths....
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