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# Ball Bounces Out of Bounds - Drop Ball?

## 23 posts in this topic

Hi there. Long time reader, first time poster.

I'd like a little bit of clarification, if anyone could shed some light on this rule/situation.

I was having a debate, or rather argument, with a friend of mine on the course yesterday. He stated that if a ball bounces on the course and then bounces out of bounds you can drop the ball in bounds at the point in which the ball crossed into out of bounds, with penalty of one stroke. So, if your tee shot bounces on the fairway and then out of bounds you can drop the ball in bounds where it crossed and then play your third shot. He does say though that if the ball goes straight out of bounds you have to go back to where you last played with penalty of stroke of distance, so if that was the tee shot you go back to the tee box and play your third stroke.

I was under the impression that out of bounds is out of bounds, regardless of the ball first landing in bounds or not, and if the ball finishes out of bounds you have to retake the shot back where you last played, with penalty of stroke and distance. So if your tee shots ends up out of bounds you take your next shot from the tee box and begin your third stroke.

Who is correct in this situation? Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated! Apologies if my descriptions of the situations don't make sense.

I also have a query similar to this (bouncing before entering the water hazard and not bouncing) regarding water hazards, but I'll leave that to another post!

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Out Of Bounds

“Out of bounds’’ is beyond the boundaries of the course or any part of the course so marked by the Committee.

When out of bounds is defined by reference to stakes or a fence or as being beyond stakes or a fence, the out of bounds line is determined by the nearest inside points at ground level of the stakes or fence posts (excluding angled supports). When both stakes and lines are used to indicate out of bounds, the stakes identify out of bounds and the lines define out of bounds. When out of bounds is defined by a line on the ground, the line itself is out of bounds. Theout of bounds line extends vertically upwards and downwards.

A ball is out of bounds when all of it lies out of bounds. A player may stand out of bounds to play a ball lying within bounds.

Objects defining out of bounds such as walls, fences, stakes and railings are not obstructions and are deemed to be fixed. Stakes identifying out of bounds are not obstructions and are deemed to be fixed.

Note 1: Stakes or lines used to define out of bounds should be white.

Note 2: A Committee may make a Local Rule declaring stakes identifying but not defining out of bounds to beobstructions.

He is probably confusing it with a water hazard. A water hazard you basically drop at the point of entry, 1 stroke penalty. Essentially it's an Unplayable Lie and treated similarly.

You can read and learn the rules here. I don't know all of them but when I hit a situation I don't know the rule for, I look it up. Slowly but surely, I'll learn 'em all. I also carry a hardcopy in my bag. Much to the chagrin of my buddies.

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Out of bounds is out of bounds. What the ball does before is irrelevant.

You must drop a new ball from where you last hit. This could be a provisional, depending on the knowledge of where the first ball went.

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He is probably confusing it with a water hazard. A water hazard you basically drop at the point of entry, 1 stroke penalty. Essentially it's an Unplayable Lie and treated similarly.

Out of bounds is out of bounds. What the ball does before is irrelevant.

Just to make sure there is no confusion between these two comments.  A ball could enter a water hazard, most likely a lateral, and then be carried out of bounds by the flow of water.  The ball is OB.  Relief under the water hazard rule is not an option.

As far as the ball bouncing vs. flying into a hazard, it's treated the same way....if the ball ended up in the hazard it's in the hazard.  The reference point for dropping, is where the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard.  Whether it flew over this point, or rolled over this point is irrelevant.

An exception to all this is if your ball were carried into the water hazard or OB by an outside agency......dog, bird, etc.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Ernest Jones

He is probably confusing it with a water hazard. A water hazard you basically drop at the point of entry, 1 stroke penalty. Essentially it's an Unplayable Lie and treated similarly.

Would you mind if I could ask you to clarify another quick rule for me regarding water hazards?

Like you said, I think my friend is confusing the two rules (out of bounds and water hazards). I've read the rules regarding water hazards and know you can drop with penalty of one stroke. Again, though, my friend is of the understanding that if the balls lands before going into a water hazard you can drop, as per the rules. But, he states if the ball goes straight into a water hazard (not bouncing before entering the hazard) you have to replay the ball from where you last played, with penalty of stroke and distance. I've read the rules and can't find anything to back this up though Is seems to be it doesn't matter if the ball goes straight into the water hazard or bounces and rolls in. So if a ball goes straight into the hazard, do you have to use your best judgement of where it crossed the hazard (ie in the air)?

Any help would be great! Thanks.

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Dormie1360, it seems you have answered my question whilst I was typing it out!

Thanks a lot for the help.

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Just to make sure there is no confusion between these two comments.  A ball could enter a water hazard, most likely a lateral, and then be carried out of bounds by the flow of water.  The ball is OB.  Relief under the water hazard rule is not an option.

26-1/7

Ball Moved Out of Bounds by Flow of Water in Water Hazard

Q.The flow of water in a water hazard carries a ball out of bounds. May the player invoke Rule 26-1?

A.No. Since the ball lies out of bounds, the player must proceed under Rule27-1. Water is not an outside agency – see Definition of "Outside Agency" – and thus the ball would not be replaced under Rule 18-1.

In a situation where it is likely that a ball will be carried out of bounds by the flow of water in a water hazard, it is suggested that a screen be installed to prevent such an occurrence.

For me on this ruling you have to know for certain it was carried away. Just because the ball isn't found doesn't mean it traveled OB. The ball could be 100 yards down stream next to a rock. To spend time to try to identify all the possible golf balls in the stream is a waste of time. For me, unless the ball is near the OB already, and you can't find it, then I wouldn't assume it made it all the way to the OB.

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For me on this ruling you have to know for certain it was carried away. Just because the ball isn't found doesn't mean it traveled OB. The ball could be 100 yards down stream next to a rock. To spend time to try to identify all the possible golf balls in the stream is a waste of time. For me, unless the ball is near the OB already, and you can't find it, then I wouldn't assume it made it all the way to the OB.

I agree.    The point is IF you know the ball is OB, it's OB.   It also makes the point that water is not an outside agency.

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Dormie1360, it seems you have answered my question whilst I was typing it out!

Thanks a lot for the help.

Be careful, although the rule re OOB has been given fully and correctly, there is a lot more to taking relief from a water hazard.

The comment about the 'reference point' is spot on but where the ball is to be dropped is a bit more complicated.

http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Rule-26/#26-1

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He is probably confusing it with a water hazard. A water hazard you basically drop at the point of entry, 1 stroke penalty. Essentially it's an Unplayable Lie and treated similarly.

This is the second time you have made this analogy and unfortunately it is no better the second time.  It is NOT essentially an unplayable lie and it is NOT treated similarly.  It is important when discussing the rules to use the real definitions and rules.  Analogies are where a lot of people pick up the rules misinformation that is so rampant. For example, how is the player supposed to drop 2 club lengths when the ball hit the water 20 feet from shore?

One of the keys for a water hazard is where the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard - an idea that has no corresponding factor in the case of an unplayable.  If the water hazard is not a lateral, then there is nothing analogous to the unplayable's 2 club length rule.

If you are using the option under which you drop as far back as you want then in the case of the water hazard you have to keep the last crossing point between you and the flag wereas in the case of the unplayable you have to keep the ball's (unplayable) position between  your drop and the flag.

Now in both cases you do have the common option of rehitting the shot with a stroke and distance penalty but that doesn;t really hlp matters because you have that option after EVERY shot, nt mater if it ends up unplayable, in a water hazard, or right in the middle of the fairway.

The differences between a water hazard and an unplayable are at least as great as the similarities.  I know you are trying to clarify things, but I fear that the potential for misinformation and confusion is very high with the statement that a ball in a water hazard is essentially an unplayable, as it is no such thing

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Definition of unplayable:

Quote:
The player may deem his ball unplayable at any place on the course, except when the ball is in a water hazard. The player is the sole judge as to whether his ball is unplayable.
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This is the second time you have made this analogy and unfortunately it is no better the second time.  It is NOT essentially an unplayable lie and it is NOT treated similarly.  It is important when discussing the rules to use the real definitions and rules.  Analogies are where a lot of people pick up the rules misinformation that is so rampant. For example, how is the player supposed to drop 2 club lengths when the ball hit the water 20 feet from shore?   One of the keys for a water hazard is where the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard - an idea that has no corresponding factor in the case of an unplayable.  If the water hazard is not a lateral, then there is nothing analogous to the unplayable's 2 club length rule. If you are using the option under which you drop as far back as you want then in the case of the water hazard you have to keep the last crossing point between you and the flag wereas in the case of the unplayable you have to keep the ball's (unplayable) position between  your drop and the flag. Now in both cases you do have the common option of rehitting the shot with a stroke and distance penalty but that doesn;t really hlp matters because you have that option after EVERY shot, nt mater if it ends up unplayable, in a water hazard, or right in the middle of the fairway. The differences between a water hazard and an unplayable are at least as great as the similarities.  I know you are trying to clarify things, but I fear that the potential for misinformation and confusion is very high with the statement that a ball in a water hazard is essentially an unplayable, as it is no such thing

Isn't the Last Crossing Point in the case of a water hazard essentially the equivalent of the balls unplayable position in the case of an unplayable lie, i.e. the reference point? I've always ignored where the ball physically enters the water as it's (to my understanding) the point where the ball last crossed the hazard line that counts. Not trying to debate here, just trying to simplify for myself as well so I know the correct procedure. PS: this isn't the second time I've made the analogy, you just read the other thread first. :-P

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This is the second time you have made this analogy and unfortunately it is no better the second time.  ..........

Ernest,

The first time you made this point (amongst others)  I was pretty blunt about it

I'm sorry to say it but this is at the least simply going to confuse and at worse mislead.  That's a polite way of saying that your "explanation" is nonsense.

I do hope you will see what we are saying and appreciate the differences between Rule 26 and Rule 28 but do come back with any questions if you don't quite see it.

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Ernest, The first time you made this point (amongst others)  I was pretty blunt about it [COLOR=181818]I'm sorry to say it but this at the least simply going to confuse and at worse mislead.  That's a polite way of saying that your "explanation" is nonsense.[/COLOR] I do hope you will see what we are saying and appreciate the differences between Rule 26 and Rule 28 but do come back with any questions if you don't quite see it.

Again, this isn't the second time it's the first. I understand the precisions you made in the other thread and appreciate the help in my own understanding. I won't make the same statement again as I don't want to muddy the waters either. Also, just to reiterate, my point isn't so much about the procedures as the "why". Why you can take a drop near the point of entry in the case of a hazard and why you can't take a drop near the point where you "think" you lost the ball or where it left the course. That seems to be the most common beef about these rules and I believe my analogy (while admittedly simplistic and not 100% accurate) makes it easier for people to understand that "why". Would it have been acceptable had I stated that it's similar in terms of penalty to an unplayable lie albeit with procedural differences? Another question, and this is really just to help my own knowledge, if you consider the physical point where the ball crossed the hazard line to be the equivalent to the lie you declare unplayable, don't the difference in procedure start to become quite similar?

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Again, this isn't the second time it's the first. I understand the precisions you made in the other thread and appreciate the help in my own understanding. I won't make the same statement again as I don't want to muddy the waters either.

Also, just to reiterate, my point isn't so much about the procedures as the "why". Why you can take a drop near the point of entry in the case of a hazard and why you can't take a drop near the point where you "think" you lost the ball or where it left the course. That seems to be the most common beef about these rules and I believe my analogy (while admittedly simplistic and not 100% accurate) makes it easier for people to understand that "why".

Would it have been acceptable had I stated that it's similar in terms of penalty to an unplayable lie albeit with procedural differences?

Another question, and this is really just to help my own knowledge, if you consider the physical point where the ball crossed the hazard line to be the equivalent to the lie you declare unplayable, don't the difference in procedure start to become quite similar?

You are still more limited in the dropping area, because you cannot take a relief drop from a water hazard and drop in the hazard.  In most cases, this makes the area for the allowed drop up to 50% smaller.  Also, when taking relief for an unplayable lie, there is no guarantee that your ball will not bounce back onto the same lie, and no recourse but to declare it unplayable yet again (with an additional penalty) if it does.  Once dropped correctly under the rules, the ball is in play no matter where it may end up as long as it isn't closer to the hole. You are guaranteed (in fact required) to obtain complete relief from the hazard for the lie of the ball when dropping from a water hazard.

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You are still more limited in the dropping area, because you cannot take a relief drop from a water hazard and drop in the hazard.  In most cases, this makes the area for the allowed drop up to 50% smaller.  Also, when taking relief for an unplayable lie, there is no guarantee that your ball will not bounce back onto the same lie, and no recourse but to declare it unplayable yet again (with an additional penalty) if it does.  Once dropped correctly under the rules, the ball is in play no matter where it may end up as long as it isn't closer to the hole. You are guaranteed (in fact required) to obtain complete relief from the hazard for the lie of the ball when dropping from a water hazard.

Thanks. I need to reread the dropping procedures. I'm pretty good at assessing the correct penalties, they're easy enough to remember once you understand the underlying principles. The exact dropping procedures are a little harder to remember. I can't remember the last time I declared a ball unplayable but I sure put enough in the water.

Edit: just read the drop procedures for a water hazard and I've been doing it correctly.

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Thanks. I need to reread the dropping procedures. I'm pretty good at assessing the correct penalties, they're easy enough to remember once you understand the underlying principles. The exact dropping procedures are a little harder to remember. I can't remember the last time I declared a ball unplayable but I sure put enough in the water.

Edit: just read the drop procedures for a water hazard and I've been doing it correctly.

Always recall that there is no two club length option for a water hazard (yellow stakes or lines).  That option is only available if the water hazard is a lateral water hazard (red stakes or lines).

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Always recall that there is no two club length option for a water hazard (yellow stakes or lines).  That option is only available if the water hazard is a lateral water hazard (red stakes or lines).

Right, I assume this is for the simple reason that going back two club lengths in ANY direction OTHER than straight back would, in fact, bring you closer to the hole. Nor would you be able to keep the point of last crossing directly between the ball and the hole.

All the water on my home course is lateral anyway, but the above reasoning is enough to be able to know that you can only go straight back or re-hit if it isn't a lateral.

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