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# Hazard Point of Entry- Does "estimate" mean "average" of likely entry points?

Yesterday, on Copper Creek #4 I hit a ball on a straight line towards the right (fairway) edge of a cart path that runs parallel to both the fairway and a lateral WH with the fairway being about 10 feet to the right and the hazard being less than 10 feet to the left of the path for over 100 yards.

I couldn't tell if the ball hit the path, but a guy I was playing with who seemed to have better eyes said that it bounced twice on the path before he lost sight of it.  Had the ball continued on the path it took from the tee to the cart path, it would NOT have gone into the hazard.  Other than the hazard, there is only short grass around, so the only place for a ball to become lost is in the hazard.

My question is what do I pick as my entry point to the hazard (as I did not find the ball, but did find two others inches in the hazard)?  There are two points of the hazard that stick out a bit, about 60 yards apart.  My best guess of entry point would be a 40% chance of going into the farther point that sticks out, a 30% chance going into the area that sticks out bit close to the tee and a 30% chance that it went in somewhere between these two points (that are about 60 yards apart).  Where should I drop?  Should my "estimate" be a weighted average of all the possible entry points?

Here is an look at the landing area from above https://maps.google.com/maps?q=copper+mountain&ll=39.50277,-106.146689&spn=0.001699,0.001988&fb=1&gl=us&hq=copper+mountain&cid=0,0,15119453119220950395&t=h&z=19

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt

In a case such as yours you have to take your best estimate as to where the ball entered the hazard based on the information available.  If it was certain that the ball cleared the hazard before reentering it, then you are correct - estimate a point as near as possible to where the ball likely crossed into the hazard and take your measurement from that point.

The rule states that your reference point for taking penalty relief is the "point where the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard".   It doesn't say anything about if that point is uncertain you regress to the previous point.  What would your brother say if it had only entered the hazard once, but the point was uncertain?  That you have to take the stroke and distance penalty.  Once again, the rules do not punish you to that extent.  You estimate the point as best you can and proceed from there.

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If you are playing as you should, you take a line of sight to where the ball disappears.  You follow that line to the margin of the hazard.  If the ball is curving a significant amount, then you have to use your best judgement.  There's nothing to average.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt

If you are playing as you should, you take a line of sight to where the ball disappears.  You follow that line to the margin of the hazard.  If the ball is curving a significant amount, then you have to use your best judgement.  There's nothing to average.

The line of sight of the ball was parallel to the hazard when it disappeared- had it continued on its line of sight, it would NOT have gone into the hazard.  From the time it left the club until the time I arrived at the search location, I was optimistic that I would find the ball OUTSIDE the hazard.  At some point, it must have kicked or rolled to the left, but none of us saw this.

I added A (where I teed off) and B (the direction where the ball was going).  I did not see it land on the cart path, but it should have landed on the path between the two carts- much closer to the cart closer to the green https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=39.5027,-106.150027&daddr=39.502969,-106.14633&hl=en&sll=39.50258,-106.147268&sspn=0.003638,0.008256&t=h&gl=us&mra=mift&mrsp=1&sz=18&z=18

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt

If you are playing as you should, you take a line of sight to where the ball disappears.  You follow that line to the margin of the hazard.  If the ball is curving a significant amount, then you have to use your best judgement.  There's nothing to average.

The line of sight of the ball was parallel to the hazard when it disappeared- had it continued on its line of sight, it would NOT have gone into the hazard.  From the time it left the club until the time I arrived at the search location, I was optimistic that I would find the ball OUTSIDE the hazard.  At some point, it must have kicked or rolled to the left, but none of us saw this.

Well, if you can't make a decision, then I guess you just have rehit from the original spot.  That is the only certain answer I can give you.

It's damn sure certain that if you can't figure out the spot where the ball crossed when you were there, then those of us who weren't there sure as hell can't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil McGleno

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt

Well, if you can't make a decision, then I guess you just have rehit from the original spot.  That is the only certain answer I can give you.

It's damn sure certain that if you can't figure out the spot where the ball crossed when you were there, then those of us who weren't there sure as hell can't.

I don't understand why this is not a legit question- I can't imagine that EVERY OTHER GOLFER ALWAYS sees where there ball goes into a hazard when their ball takes a less than straight bounce/roll.

I'll ask my question differently- there was about a 60 yard range of where my ball could have possibly gone into the hazard.  Was it valid for me to drop it in the middle of this range even if there was a better chance that it actually entered at one end or the other of this range?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree

Originally Posted by Fourputt

Well, if you can't make a decision, then I guess you just have rehit from the original spot.  That is the only certain answer I can give you.

It's damn sure certain that if you can't figure out the spot where the ball crossed when you were there, then those of us who weren't there sure as hell can't.

I don't understand why this is not a legit question- I can't imagine that EVERY OTHER GOLFER ALWAYS sees where there ball goes into a hazard when their ball takes a less than straight bounce/roll.

I'll ask my question differently- there was about a 60 yard range of where my ball could have possibly gone into the hazard.  Was it valid for me to drop it in the middle of this range even if there was a better chance that it actually entered at one end or the other of this range?

In that case you would be required to establish your reference point at the farthest point from the hole that the ball was likely to have crossed into the hazard.  This is to ensure that you don't gain yardage toward the hole by means other than with a stroke.  If I'd had my thinking cap on, this is the answer I'd have given you to begin with.

The other issue which must be raised here is the level of certainty that the ball is actually in the hazard.  If there is any possibility that the ball is lost outside of the hazard, then that is the ruling.  You cannot assume that the ball is in the hazard just because of proximity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt

In that case you would be required to establish your reference point at the farthest point from the hole that the ball was likely to have crossed into the hazard.  This is to ensure that you don't gain yardage toward the hole by means other than with a stroke.  If I'd had my thinking cap on, this is the answer I'd have given you to begin with.

The other issue which must be raised here is the level of certainty that the ball is actually in the hazard.  If there is any possibility that the ball is lost outside of the hazard, then that is the ruling.  You cannot assume that the ball is in the hazard just because of proximity.

ok...so taking the middle point was wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt

If you are playing as you should, you take a line of sight to where the ball disappears.  You follow that line to the margin of the hazard.  If the ball is curving a significant amount, then you have to use your best judgement.  There's nothing to average.

On this hole, the only realistic option is for the ball to be in the hazard or to find it outside the hazard as there is no long grass on the entire left side outside the hazard, BUT this is what happened on the same hole in Men's league Wednesday-

Competitor hits a low draw that looks like it will land near the cart path and roll/bounce into the hazard assuming it continue on the same line of sight.  After we don't find the ball, he takes a drop at a point we all easily agree upon and hits hit 3rd shot onto the green.  As we are walking up to the green, one of the guys in the group finds the ball playable in the hazard 50 yards in front of where he dropped.  I told him under USGA rules that his original is out of play and he plays the ball lying 3 on the green.  Correct?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree

On this hole, the only realistic option is for the ball to be in the hazard or to find it outside the hazard as there is no long grass on the entire left side outside the hazard, BUT this is what happened on the same hole in Men's league Wednesday-

Competitor hits a low draw that looks like it will land near the cart path and roll/bounce into the hazard assuming it continue on the same line of sight.  After we don't find the ball, he takes a drop at a point we all easily agree upon and hits hit 3rd shot onto the green.  As we are walking up to the green, one of the guys in the group finds the ball playable in the hazard 50 yards in front of where he dropped.  I told him under USGA rules that his original is out of play and he plays the ball lying 3 on the green.  Correct?

Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree

Yesterday, on Copper Creek #4 I hit a ball on a straight line towards the right (fairway) edge of a cart path that runs parallel to both the fairway and a lateral WH with the fairway being about 10 feet to the right and the hazard being less than 10 feet to the left of the path for over 100 yards.

I couldn't tell if the ball hit the path, but a guy I was playing with who seemed to have better eyes said that it bounced twice on the path before he lost sight of it.  Had the ball continued on the path it took from the tee to the cart path, it would NOT have gone into the hazard.  Other than the hazard, there is only short grass around, so the only place for a ball to become lost is in the hazard.

My question is what do I pick as my entry point to the hazard (as I did not find the ball, but did find two others inches in the hazard)?  There are two points of the hazard that stick out a bit, about 60 yards apart.  My best guess of entry point would be a 40% chance of going into the farther point that sticks out, a 30% chance going into the area that sticks out bit close to the tee and a 30% chance that it went in somewhere between these two points (that are about 60 yards apart).  Where should I drop?  Should my "estimate" be a weighted average of all the possible entry points?

Here is an look at the landing area from above https://maps.google.com/maps?q=copper+mountain&ll=39.50277,-106.146689&spn=0.001699,0.001988&fb=1&gl=us&hq=copper+mountain&cid=0,0,15119453119220950395&t=h&z=19

IMO it is all irrelevant.  It is a lost ball.  Once it hits the cart path you don't know where it might end up.  And while you say it can't be lost because the grass is so short, apparently it IS possible to lose a ball there because 2 people did lose ball there, since you said you found 2 balls.  So I don't see how this situation meets the known or virtually certain criteria.

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree

Yesterday, on Copper Creek #4 I hit a ball on a straight line towards the right (fairway) edge of a cart path that runs parallel to both the fairway and a lateral WH with the fairway being about 10 feet to the right and the hazard being less than 10 feet to the left of the path for over 100 yards.

I couldn't tell if the ball hit the path, but a guy I was playing with who seemed to have better eyes said that it bounced twice on the path before he lost sight of it.  Had the ball continued on the path it took from the tee to the cart path, it would NOT have gone into the hazard.  Other than the hazard, there is only short grass around, so the only place for a ball to become lost is in the hazard.

My question is what do I pick as my entry point to the hazard (as I did not find the ball, but did find two others inches in the hazard)?  There are two points of the hazard that stick out a bit, about 60 yards apart.  My best guess of entry point would be a 40% chance of going into the farther point that sticks out, a 30% chance going into the area that sticks out bit close to the tee and a 30% chance that it went in somewhere between these two points (that are about 60 yards apart).  Where should I drop?  Should my "estimate" be a weighted average of all the possible entry points?

Here is an look at the landing area from above https://maps.google.com/maps?q=copper+mountain&ll=39.50277,-106.146689&spn=0.001699,0.001988&fb=1&gl=us&hq=copper+mountain&cid=0,0,15119453119220950395&t=h&z=19

IMO it is all irrelevant.  It is a lost ball.  Once it hits the cart path you don't know where it might end up.  And while you say it can't be lost because the grass is so short, apparently it IS possible to lose a ball there because 2 people did lose ball there, since you said you found 2 balls.  So I don't see how this situation meets the known or virtually certain criteria.

The 2 balls they found were both in the hazard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree

The line of sight of the ball was parallel to the hazard when it disappeared- had it continued on its line of sight, it would NOT have gone into the hazard.  From the time it left the club until the time I arrived at the search location, I was optimistic that I would find the ball OUTSIDE the hazard.  At some point, it must have kicked or rolled to the left, but none of us saw this.

If you can't tell where it crossed the margin you can't be sure it crossed the margin at all. The ruling must be that it is lost..

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback

IMO it is all irrelevant.  It is a lost ball.  Once it hits the cart path you don't know where it might end up.  And while you say it can't be lost because the grass is so short, apparently it IS possible to lose a ball there because 2 people did lose ball there, since you said you found 2 balls.  So I don't see how this situation meets the known or virtually certain criteria.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt

The 2 balls they found were both in the hazard.

Exactly- both in the hazard by inches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rulesman

If you can't tell where it crossed the margin you can't be sure it crossed the margin at all. The ruling must be that it is lost..

Where else would it be- nothing but short grass, cart path and hazard for 100+ yards?  I thought "lost in a hazard" allows you to play it as if it was in the hazard as long as you are "virtually certain" that it was in the hazard with virtual certainty being defined roughly along the lines of nowhere else it could reasonably be.  Where else could it reasonably be?

This is probably the most common hazard for guys to hit it into on this golf course.  Every week I have played in Men's league, at least 1 guy has put it into this hazard.  None have played it as a lost ball.  Are you suggesting that everyone should play it as a lost ball or only suggesting that the guys who first land outside the hazard should play it this way?

Given that the only reasonable place for the ball to be lost would be in the hazard, I don't even think the rules allow you to hit a provisional- your ruling of lost ball would create a speed of play nightmare.

A necessary element of taking relief from a lateral water hazard iaw R26-1c is the requirement to either know or be able to estimate the point at which original ball last crossed the margin of the hazard. Absent knowing or being able to estimate the crossing point, then relief must be iaw R26-1a, stroke and distance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheville

A necessary element of taking relief from a lateral water hazard iaw R26-1c is the requirement to either know or be able to estimate the point at which original ball last crossed the margin of the hazard. Absent knowing or being able to estimate the crossing point, then relief must be iaw R26-1a, stroke and distance.

So how precisely to you have to estimate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree

So how precisely to you have to estimate?

What is an estimate? If you neither know or are unable to estimate, then you may not avail yourself of -1c.

I would say if you playing partner saw the ball bounce, you can make a good estimate. The stroke and distance is if you didn't know water was there. Lets say you hit the ball over the hill, and it hits a slope and goes into the water. You can't assume were it entered, you didn't see it fly or bounce in. So you can't take a drop there. If your friend saw the ball bounce a certain way, then you can get a reasonable estimate of were to drop.

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