Originally Posted by wedgehammer40k
Well its been a while since I posted my original question and sure enough I've played in three competitions since and this issue arose on two occasions.
My understanding after reading these posts and upon checking the rule book is that:
- Rule 28 clearly states that a player may deem his/her ball unplayable at their own discretion - unless their shot has clearly and unmistakably (with a loud splash) come to rest in a water hazard.
- In the spirit of avoiding slow play, a player may announce and take a provisional shot when for example there is doubt as to whether a ball is lost, OB, or un-playable, but has not been clearly identified as having landed in a water hazard.
- If the original shot is confirmed to be in a water hazard a player that has taken a provisional must proceed under rule 26-1 and abandon their provisional.
- Debate may arise as to the certainty of a shot having landed in a water hazard - and upon reaching a resolution the player proceeds either under 26-1 or 27-1 and continues play from their provisional.
In one competition I elected to deem my ball unplayable (consulting with my marker) as I had teed off and the ball travelled about 1m so I decided that to re-tee the ball would be better than playing it from where it laid. After declaring the ball "unplayable" and as the original spot I took the stroke was the teeing area I proceeded under 27-1 (penalty of stroke and distance) and under rule 20-5 (the ball may be re-teed on the teeing ground) and basically had another crack hitting my third shot of the tee.
- Would the above be considered a "practice stroke" carrying a two stroke penalty if carding a score for a USGA handicap?
- Was the above determination within the rules?
- If a ball lands in a Lateral Water Hazard is that the same as a Water Hazard?
- If a ball lands in a non-water hazard can the player who has taken a provisional proceed under 27-1 from his/her provisional?
1. It is not a practice stroke if the definition of stroke (the forward movement of the club with the intent to strike the ball) was met.
2. Yes. The player is solely responsible for determining his ball unplayable.
3. Read the Definitions for water hazard and lateral water hazard, and Rule 26-1 for the specific differences.
There are only two types of hazards, water hazards (including lateral water hazards) and bunkers. If you determine that your ball is unplayable in a bunker, you must proceed under Rule 28, but you must drop in the bunker unless you choose the stroke and distance option (Rule 28a).
Originally Posted by wedgehammer40k
And after re-reading the posts (last question)
5. If a player hits it into a non-water hazard on the course, say a wooded area and there is certainty the ball landed in that area is there still an option to play a provisional ball given the ball may potentially be lost or unplayable?
I think I'm not quite sure if a "Dry" Hazard and a Water Hazard are treated as the same thing?
See above for the answer. The only "dry" hazard on the course is a bunker. When you read the definition of a water hazard you will be able to answer your own question. Just for your information, the course is the whole area within any boundaries as established by the committee. It is broken down into four parts: the teeing ground of the hole being played, the putting green of the hole being played, hazards (water, lateral water, and bunkers), and through the green. Through the green is all areas of the course except the teeing ground and putting green of the hole being played and all hazards. From that you can see that a wooded area is not a "dry hazard", nor is it a water hazard unless it meets the definition of a water hazard. A water hazard may be dry at certain times of the year, or the margins may be marked well outside of the water course for the purpose of reasonable play, creating an area within the margin which is always dry, but it must contain a water course of some sort to meet the definition. A wooded area which is not part of a water hazard is through the green, and the ball is played as it lies unless you proceed under an applicable Rule such as Rule 28 - Ball Unplayable.
Some courses will try to take the easy way out by declaring wooded areas as lateral water hazards, but this practice is specifically forbidden in the Rules of Golf. A water hazard must meet the definition in the Rules of Golf to be so designated.