Originally Posted by Rulesman
Originally Posted by Fourputt
You do the best you can. As I said above, if there is a range of possible points, then you must take the one farthest from the hole. It would be no different than if the lateral water hazard had an irregular margin and the ball went over a hill at a point where there were two arms of the hazard, either of which could be the place where the ball entered the hazard. You take the margin farthest from the hole for your reference point. You do not have to assume that the ball is lost if there is truly no place else for it to be but in the hazard. Rule 26 doesn't not require that the player observes the ball entering the hazard, only that there is virtual certainty that it is there.
Where does it say that ?
Why does it have to say it? It does say that when there is uncertainty, you use your best estimate. That implies some flexibility when the exact spot isn't or can't be known. I certainly am not going "guess" at the closest point to the hole where the ball might have entered the hazard, so I'm if I'm erring, I'm doing it on the side of caution.
I'll ask you this. You hit a tee shot over a rise with a strong fade, then when you top that hill you see that there is a hazard which you were unaware of. The hazard has an irregular margin. Are you going to take the stroke and distance penalty just because you can't be absolutely certain which of a pair of projections the ball may have entered? If that is the case, that hole is going to be the worst backup in history, since nobody else who hits a similar shot is likely to have any better an idea where his ball entered the hazard.
When the rules allow for the exercise of common sense, then I feel that it's appropriate to use it. I point to the following 2 decisions to support my contention, although not specific to this scenario. The only difference is that in the case in point, there is no confirmation of it being the wrong place.
Point Where Ball Last Crossed Margin of Lateral Water Hazard Determined and Ball Dropped; Point Then Proves to Be Wrong Point
Q.In stroke play, A's ball goes into a lateral water hazard and is not found. A uses his best judgment in determining the point where the ball last crossed the hazard margin. B, A's marker and a fellow-competitor, agrees with that judgment and A drops a ball in accordance with Rule 26-1c, using the agreed point on the margin as the reference point. Before A makes his next stroke, C, another fellow-competitor, says that A's ball last crossed the hazard margin 20 yards beyond the point judged by A to be the point where the ball last crossed. A's ball is then found where C said it would be. What is the ruling?
A.When A dropped the ball under Rule 26-1, it was known or virtually certain that his original ball lay in the lateral water hazard. Therefore, Rule 26-1 was the applicable Rule and the player proceeded correctly in that he was permitted to put a ball into play under that Rule. However, as he dropped his ball in a wrong place, A must correct the error under Rule 20-6. He must proceed in accordance with any of the applicable options under Rule 26-1 with respect to the correct reference point (see Decision 20-6/2). A is precluded from playing the original ball from the hazard.
Other Decisions related to whether a player may change a selected relief option after taking further action: See "Ball Dropped or Re-Dropped: changing relief option" in the Index.
Point Where Ball Last Crossed Margin of Lateral Water Hazard Determined and Ball Dropped and Played; Point Then Proves to Be Wrong Point
Q.In the circumstances described in Decision 26-1/16, what is the ruling if A, having dropped a ball in a wrong place, plays it before his error is discovered?
A.A must continue play with the ball played from a wrong place, without penalty. Applying a penalty under Rule 26-1 for playing from a wrong place (see Rule 20-7) is not appropriate. Otherwise, a competitor would risk incurring a penalty every time he makes an honest judgment as to the point where his ball last crosses a water-hazard margin and that judgment subsequently proves incorrect.