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Forest Area Marked as Lateral Hazard

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 

This came up in the divot thread.  Below is the par 4 seventh at Merrimack Valley Golf Course.  The areas with red lines are marked with red stakes.  There is a marshy area between the fairway and forest that will be very wet in the spring and early summer, but playable when it is dry or in the fall.  The forest area above the marshy area at the top can be wet at times, but should it be marked a lateral hazard?

 

post #2 of 33

I am not sure if I got the full picture but the definition of a Water Hazard if pretty clear and it does not include occationally wet areas such as low-land forests or swamps. If that marshy/swampy area really is impracticle to play from it might be an idea to make it out of bounds, or if there are any future prospects to dry it then a GUR with a dropping zone could be used.

 

So to answer your question and more, none of those areas marked in the picture with red lines should be marked as Lateral Water Hazard as they are not by definition. The dark spot beside the green seems to be a WH and to be marked as LWH.

 

Looks like a pretty challenging hole all in all.

post #3 of 33

Water Hazard

A “water hazard’’ is any sea, lake, pond, river, ditch, surface drainage ditch or other open water course (whether or not containing water) and anything of a similar nature on the course. All ground and water within the margin of a water hazardare part of the water hazard.

When the margin of a water hazard is defined by stakes, the stakes are inside the water hazard, and the margin of thehazard is defined by the nearest outside points of the stakes at ground level. When both stakes and lines are used to indicate a water hazard, the stakes identify the hazard and the lines define the hazard margin. When the margin of a water hazard is defined by a line on the ground, the line itself is in the water hazard. The margin of a water hazard extends vertically upwards and downwards.

A ball is in a water hazard when it lies in or any part of it touches the water hazard.

Stakes used to define the margin of or identify a water hazard are obstructions.

Note 1: Stakes or lines used to define the margin of or identify a water hazard must be yellow.

Note 2: The Committee may make a Local Rule prohibiting play from an environmentally-sensitive area defined as a water hazard.

post #4 of 33

Could the 'marshy area' be simply treated as casual water when it is wet or it to deep and/or widespread?

post #5 of 33
Here's how I'd mark it. The lime green lines mean removal of the red stakes in that area.
post #6 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogolf View Post

Here's how I'd mark it. The lime green lines mean removal of the red stakes in that area.

 

So you would mark both the marshy area and the swamp as LWH? On what grounds?

post #7 of 33
Imo, they meet the definition of water hazard.
post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ignorant View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogolf View Post

Here's how I'd mark it. The lime green lines mean removal of the red stakes in that area.

 

So you would mark both the marshy area and the swamp as LWH? On what grounds?

 Surely, they both satisfy the requirements for a lateral water hazard, don't they?

post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogolf View Post

Imo, they meet the definition of water hazard.

 

It is not very fruitful to discuss this specific case without having seen the area in question so maybe we should take this on a general level. So let us start, just for the general interest as well as for passing the time.

 

Rogolf, which part of the definition of a WH does a marshy area or a swamp meet? On those areas there may be ponds, ditches, even lakes, but how do you justify the entire area to be a WH?

post #10 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ignorant View Post

It is not very fruitful to discuss this specific case without having seen the area in question so maybe we should take this on a general level. So let us start, just for the general interest as well as for passing the time.

Rogolf, which part of the definition of a WH does a marshy area or a swamp meet? On those areas there may be ponds, ditches, even lakes, but how do you justify the entire area to be a WH?

Any part you choose, "and anything of a similar nature". The margins are then marked where the ground breaks down(wards) to form the depression containing the water (if water is present). I've added the parts in parentheses to the language in Decision 33-2a/4.

I agree that it's not possible to be 100% correct without being on site, but I am proceeding on the original post's use of "swamp" and "marshy area", words that, to me, describe an area that most likely meets the definition of a water hazard.
post #11 of 33

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rogolf View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ignorant View Post
 

 

It is not very fruitful to discuss this specific case without having seen the area in question so maybe we should take this on a general level. So let us start, just for the general interest as well as for passing the time.

 

Rogolf, which part of the definition of a WH does a marshy area or a swamp meet? On those areas there may be ponds, ditches, even lakes, but how do you justify the entire area to be a WH?

 


Any part you choose, "and anything of a similar nature". The margins are then marked where the ground breaks down(wards) to form the depression containing the water (if water is present). I've added the parts in parentheses to the language in Decision 33-2a/4.

I agree that it's not possible to be 100% correct without being on site, but I am proceeding on the original post's use of "swamp" and "marshy area", words that, to me, describe an area that most likely meets the definition of a water hazard.

 

I used to collect butterflies when I was young and we used to visit some swamps for the species living in that very habitat. None of those had any specific margins, not to mention any 'grounds breaking downwards'. I would have an extremely hard time in defining the margins of those kinds of 'water hazards'.

 

However, to be certain, I would have to see the area in question.

post #12 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ignorant View Post
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rogolf View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ignorant View Post
 

 

It is not very fruitful to discuss this specific case without having seen the area in question so maybe we should take this on a general level. So let us start, just for the general interest as well as for passing the time.

 

Rogolf, which part of the definition of a WH does a marshy area or a swamp meet? On those areas there may be ponds, ditches, even lakes, but how do you justify the entire area to be a WH?

 


Any part you choose, "and anything of a similar nature". The margins are then marked where the ground breaks down(wards) to form the depression containing the water (if water is present). I've added the parts in parentheses to the language in Decision 33-2a/4.

I agree that it's not possible to be 100% correct without being on site, but I am proceeding on the original post's use of "swamp" and "marshy area", words that, to me, describe an area that most likely meets the definition of a water hazard.

 

 

I used to collect butterflies when I was young and we used to visit some swamps for the species living in that very habitat. None of those had any specific margins, not to mention any 'grounds breaking downwards'. I would have an extremely hard time in defining the margins of those kinds of 'water hazards'.

 

However, to be certain, I would have to see the area in question.

 

A water hazard, or lateral water hazard, doesn't need a specifically delineated margin to qualify - that is why they are required to be marked with stakes or lines.  It must be an area of the course which holds water during some times of the year (or possibly only during wet years), whether naturally or artificially created.  These swampy areas would certainly seem to fit the bill as wetlands, and I've played many courses with wetland hazards which don't hold water year round.  Many of those which I've played are designated as environmentally sensitive with a prohibition against playing from them, or in some cases even entering them to retrieve the ball.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rogolf View Post

Imo, they meet the definition of water hazard.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheville View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ignorant View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogolf View Post

Here's how I'd mark it. The lime green lines mean removal of the red stakes in that area.

 

So you would mark both the marshy area and the swamp as LWH? On what grounds?

 Surely, they both satisfy the requirements for a lateral water hazard, don't they?

 

I agree.  

post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

 

A water hazard, or lateral water hazard, doesn't need a specifically delineated margin to qualify - that is why they are required to be marked with stakes or lines.  It must be an area of the course which holds water during some times of the year (or possibly only during wet years), whether naturally or artificially created.  These swampy areas would certainly seem to fit the bill as wetlands, and I've played many courses with wetland hazards which don't hold water year round.  Many of those which I've played are designated as environmentally sensitive with a prohibition against playing from them, or in some cases even entering them to retrieve the ball.  

 

 

 

 

I believe that an area can only be designated an environmentally sensitive area under the rules if that designation is made by a governmental agency of some kind, not just at the discretion of the Committee.  That is my interpretation of the definition of ESA in Appendix 1.

 

Quote:
 

“I. Definition

An environmentally-sensitive area (ESA) is an area so declared by an appropriate authority, entry into and/or play from which is prohibited for environmental reasons. These areas may be defined as ground under repair, a water hazard, a lateral water hazard or out of bounds at the discretion of the Committee, provided that in the case of an ESA that has been defined as a water hazard or a lateral water hazard, the area is, by definition, a water hazard.

Note: The Committee may not declare an area to be environmentally-sensitive.

post #14 of 33

Maybe.  But cannot the  course management simply proclaim a certain area as 'Entry Forbidden' without ESA classification? 

post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by joekelly View Post
 

Maybe.  But cannot the  course management simply proclaim a certain area as 'Entry Forbidden' without ESA classification? 

They can but why would they want to in this case? There doesn't seem to be any suggestion that the land needs any protection and part are possibly playable even when other parts are wet. 

post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

 

A water hazard, or lateral water hazard, doesn't need a specifically delineated margin to qualify - that is why they are required to be marked with stakes or lines.  It must be an area of the course which holds water during some times of the year (or possibly only during wet years), whether naturally or artificially created.  These swampy areas would certainly seem to fit the bill as wetlands, and I've played many courses with wetland hazards which don't hold water year round.  Many of those which I've played are designated as environmentally sensitive with a prohibition against playing from them, or in some cases even entering them to retrieve the ball.  

 

 

 

 

I believe that an area can only be designated an environmentally sensitive area under the rules if that designation is made by a governmental agency of some kind, not just at the discretion of the Committee.  That is my interpretation of the definition of ESA in Appendix 1.

 

Quote:
 

“I. Definition

An environmentally-sensitive area (ESA) is an area so declared by an appropriate authority, entry into and/or play from which is prohibited for environmental reasons. These areas may be defined as ground under repair, a water hazard, a lateral water hazard or out of bounds at the discretion of the Committee, provided that in the case of an ESA that has been defined as a water hazard or a lateral water hazard, the area is, by definition, a water hazard.

Note: The Committee may not declare an area to be environmentally-sensitive.

 

I wasn't suggesting that the marshy areas in the OP's case needed such designation.  I was simply using that to reinforce my feeling that the areas he described fit the definition of a water hazard, because I have played so many courses with similar hazards.  It isn't required that they show a clear slope near the water as Ignorant suggested in his post, or even that they have an extent of open water.  In the Colorado mountains, many courses are built partially or wholly on valley floors, and most of those can have extensive flooding almost to the edge of the fairways during the spring/early summer runoff from the higher peaks.  Once the snow has mostly melted off, they start to dry out and the actual water recedes, sometimes as much as 40 or 50 yards, and they can be bone dry by the end of July aside from maybe a 4 foot wide creek running down the middle. The hazard lines don't move in and out to compensate for the change in wetness.  The Keystone, Grand Elk, Pole Creek, and Breckenridge courses all have lateral water hazards like this.

post #17 of 33
Thread Starter 

The marshy area is usually played as casual water when needed.  Otherwise, it is bog-like.  You can play out of it, but you almost need to play it like a fairway bunker to prevent hitting fat.  They have another area like this right where the "earth" is in the lower right of the picture.

 

My concern was really the forest area being designated a lateral hazard improperly.  There may be a small creek that runs just inside the tree line, but it is dry most of the time.  There was discussion in the Divot GUR thread about improperly marked lateral hazards.

 

BTW, I hate this hole.  In addition to the odd landing area, the green is the worst saddle-back green I have ever seen.  There are only two small, maybe 50 sq ft areas on the green that are less than 4% grade.  The green also slopes away and to the right of the fairway, so getting a GIR is very difficult.  You need to hit the very middle-left of the green to hope to stay on and not pitch off right and long.  Usually, I am trying to get an up&down to par.  

 

I have never parred this hole (the only one on the course).  From the back tees, it is a driver for me to try to get the 150 marker (220 yards).  If I get roll out, it goes long and down a  slope to the cart part.  If I use a 3w or 3h, my approach shot could be 180+.  Any fade off the tee gives you a long second shot.  A hook into the marshy area may get you blocked out due to the trees.

post #18 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by boogielicious View Post

The marshy area is usually played as casual water when needed.  Otherwise, it is bog-like.  You can play out of it, but you almost need to play it like a fairway bunker to prevent hitting fat.  They have another area like this right where the "earth" is in the lower right of the picture.

My concern was really the forest area being designated a lateral hazard improperly.  There may be a small creek that runs just inside the tree line, but it is dry most of the time.  There was discussion in the Divot GUR thread about improperly marked lateral hazards.

BTW, I hate this hole.  In addition to the odd landing area, the green is the worst saddle-back green I have ever seen.  There are only two small, maybe 50 sq ft areas on the green that are less than 4% grade.  The green also slopes away and to the right of the fairway, so getting a GIR is very difficult.  You need to hit the very middle-left of the green to hope to stay on and not pitch off right and long.  Usually, I am trying to get an up&down to par.  

I have never parred this hole (the only one on the course).  From the back tees, it is a driver for me to try to get the 150 marker (220 yards).  If I get roll out, it goes long and down a  slope to the cart part.  If I use a 3w or 3h, my approach shot could be 180+.  Any fade off the tee gives you a long second shot.  A hook into the marshy area may get you blocked out due to the trees.

I don't understand "usually played as casual water when needed"? How is relief taken "when needed"? If the marshy area was marked as a LWH, the ball can still be played.

When a course doesn't want people entering an area, a very effective method is to put up a sign "Caution: Snakes in this area." :)
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