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Hazard or Out Of Bounds?

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 

During my round yesterday, my playing partner hit an errant tee shot that sliced to the right.

 

Along the right side of the fairway beyond the initial high cut ruff are red sticks indicating a hazard area. The hazard area is ~10-15 yards in width with high weeds which eventually leads to a ~8 feet high steel fence. Beyond the fence is a neighboring facility (not part of the golf course). It was not clear whether the ball landed in the hazard/weeds area or if it landed in the neighboring facility. There are no white (out of bounds) sticks present anywhere.

 

Trying to understand whether the ball should be declared out of bounds (penalty + distance) or in the hazard (eligible for drop at approximate exit location)? I am assuming that beyond the fence is "out of bounds"? And if we knew with certainty that the ball landed beyond the fence it should be declared out of bounds?

 

Thanks in advance for any insights

post #2 of 40

Because there is the possibility that the ball may be lost outside the hazard or Out of Bounds you must treat it as a lost ball.  Stroke and distance penalty.  Only if you have known or virtual certainty that the ball is lost IN the hazard may you drop under the hazard rule.

 

Also it makes no difference whether or not the area to the right of the hazard is OB or not.  The ball would still be considered lost (stroke and distance), unless you could find it within 5 minutes.

post #3 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dormie1360 View Post
 

Because there is the possibility that the ball may be lost outside the hazard or Out of Bounds you must treat it as a lost ball.  Stroke and distance penalty.  Only if you have known or virtual certainty that the ball is lost IN the hazard may you drop under the hazard rule.

 

Also it makes no difference whether or not the area to the right of the hazard is OB or not.  The ball would still be considered lost (stroke and distance), unless you could find it within 5 minutes.

Thanks for the feedback. Ok, so stroke+distance was the proper penalty here (or provisional ball) since it was not certain if the ball landed in the hazard. The assumption here is that there is a finite hazard area with something else beyond it (OB or otherwise).

 

Part of my confusion though is understanding if the hazard area ever really ends? Meaning that basically anything landing beyond the red sticks (before or after the neighbors fence) could be considered "in the hazard"? So put a little differently the question is whether the hazard area might extend indefinitely (so eligible for hazard rule/drop)?

post #4 of 40

The "committee" (folks in charge of the course) define the boundaries.   From what you described, the fence sounds like a boundary, although technically if there were just red stakes on the left side of something marked as a hazard, and nothing on the opposite margin, then yes the hazard extends for infinity.

 

But again, it sounds like a boundary.  You don't normally get to play out of a "neighboring facility"  off the course.

post #5 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dormie1360 View Post
 

The "committee" (folks in charge of the course) define the boundaries.   From what you described, the fence sounds like a boundary, although technically if there were just red stakes on the left side of something marked as a hazard, and nothing on the opposite margin, then yes the hazard extends for infinity.

 

But again, it sounds like a boundary.  You don't normally get to play out of a "neighboring facility"  off the course.


I am pretty sure you are right and the fence is the starting point for an OB area (even though there are no white sticks). The committe probably assumed that is intuitive enough. So hazard followed by OB. Thanks again for your response John.

post #6 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by baw1 View Post
 


I am pretty sure you are right and the fence is the starting point for an OB area (even though there are no white sticks). The committe probably assumed that is intuitive enough. So hazard followed by OB. Thanks again for your response John.

The definition of out of bounds is:

 

Quote:
 

 

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 boundsline 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 defineout of bounds. When out of bounds is defined by a line on the ground, the line itself is out of bounds. The out 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.

 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 boundsline 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 defineout of bounds. When out of bounds is defined by a line on the ground, the line itself is out of bounds. The out 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 be obstructions.

 

 

In your example, since the land on the other side of the fence is not part of the course, it meets the "beyond the boundaries of the course" part of the OB definition, so it did not need to be specifically marked to be OB.

 

I wonder though, what else there is between the fairway and that fence.  You say it is marked with red stakes, but is there really a hazard there?  Is it possible the course is mismarked?  It is not clear from your description whether that area meets the requirements to be marked as a hazard.

post #7 of 40

I would guess that this is a wetlands area with tall weeds.  That's pretty common.

post #8 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dormie1360 View Post
 

Because there is the possibility that the ball may be lost outside the hazard or Out of Bounds you must treat it as a lost ball.  Stroke and distance penalty.  Only if you have known or virtual certainty that the ball is lost IN the hazard may you drop under the hazard rule.

 

Also it makes no difference whether or not the area to the right of the hazard is OB or not.  The ball would still be considered lost (stroke and distance), unless you could find it within 5 minutes.

 

Not exactly right.  He said that the area of high weeds was within the hazard, and led up to the fence.  As he presented his scenario, the only possibilities are hazard or OB.  

 

However, the result is the same.  It must be known or virtually certain that the ball is in the hazard.  Without that being the case then it must be played as if it is out of bounds.  OB is still a stroke and distance penalty.  That is a difficult and unfortunate design, but one I have seen a lot of, since my home course has a similar hazard, quite a bit wider, but with the same potential for uncertainty as to the actual fate of the ball.  In my case the fence is chain link, about 5 feet tall, and I have seen balls go through the mesh, so there has to be strong evidence that the ball stopped short of the fence to be able to proceed under Rule 26-1.

post #9 of 40

This is the hole I referred to in the above post.  The boundary fence is the red line on the north side of the photo.  The arrow points at an irrigation ditch on the south side which is included within the hazard.  The red line around the lake is the approximate margin of the hazard.  All of the deep native rough surrounding the pond is is also within the margin.  The north side of the lake is a berm about 6 feet high, and it has  a steep slope down to the fence.  

 

You can see the area between the lake and the fence is about 15 yards wide, and it would be easy to hit the top or the downslope of the berm and it would be impossible to be certain that the ball stayed in the hazard.  In such a case, the ball must be played as if it is out of bounds.

 

post #10 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

 

Not exactly right.  He said that the area of high weeds was within the hazard, and led up to the fence.  As he presented his scenario, the only possibilities are hazard or OB.  

 

However, the result is the same.  It must be known or virtually certain that the ball is in the hazard.  Without that being the case then it must be played as if it is out of bounds.  OB is still a stroke and distance penalty.  That is a difficult and unfortunate design, but one I have seen a lot of, since my home course has a similar hazard, quite a bit wider, but with the same potential for uncertainty as to the actual fate of the ball.  In my case the fence is chain link, about 5 feet tall, and I have seen balls go through the mesh, so there has to be strong evidence that the ball stopped short of the fence to be able to proceed under Rule 26-1.

 

 It doesn't sound like a bona fide water hazard that was designed into the course.  Instead, I'll bet the course did that to speed up play by "allowing"  players the option to drop where the ball crossed the margin of the hazard, rather than having to resort to S&D.  I'd bet that's how the vast majority of players play it too......even though it's clearly wrong.

post #11 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by edwjmcgrath View Post
 

I would guess that this is a wetlands area with tall weeds.  That's pretty common.

My home course is one of those subdivision layouts. On 15 of 18 holes you run the gauntlet: You have OB and/or hazard left AND right.

 

OB is defined by the normal white stakes, generally along a road or adjacent to a home's yard. Also, there's vast expanses of both grassland and "no go" nature areas that are red-staked hazards. Because of the "no go" rule, you go to the point where the ball crossed the hazard line and take a drop, one stroke penalty. A local rule: you don't have to find your ball in the hazard to take a one-stroke penalty and drop, even if it's not a no-go nature area.

 

Another course about two miles east has similar terrain and equivalent hazard/ "no go" rules.

post #12 of 40
Thread Starter 

Ok, below is a satellite view of the hole in question. The trajectory of the ball is represented by the dotted black/red line. The blue line is the fence. The 6 individual red dots are the red stakes. Again, it is not clear as to the ball's final resting spot (inside or outside the fence).

 

 

 

post #13 of 40

After looking at your picture, I'd go back to my original post.  The ball could be outside the hazard and not found. (Lost)  If you are not sure the ball is in the hazard, you need to find the ball or proceed under the lost ball rule.  As you mentioned, you could definitely have played a provisional in this case.

 

BTW, rather tight driving hole.  :scared:

post #14 of 40
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the feedback here.

 

In summary, the correct course of action is:

---------------------------------------------------------------

1) play a provisional ball from the tee

2) proceed to approximate original ball exit area and see if original ball can be located within the hazard area (everything leading up to the fence).

3) If original ball is located within hazard area, play ball (2nd stroke) or take a drop with 1-penalty stroke (3rd stroke).

4) if original ball is not found, play the provisional ball hit. So this would be the 4th stroke of the hole.

 

As far as why the red sticks are there. Here are the possibilities as I understand them:

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1) mismarked

2) intentionally there so to allow/encourage players to drop (speed up play theory)...even though it may not be a "bona fide" hazard and this maybe "wrong"..

3) by-design bona fide hazard area

post #15 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by baw1 View Post
 

Thanks for all the feedback here.

 

In summary, the correct course of action is:

---------------------------------------------------------------

1) play a provisional ball from the tee

2) proceed to approximate original ball exit area and see if original ball can be located within the hazard area (everything leading up to the fence).

3) If original ball is located within hazard area, play ball (2nd stroke) or take a drop with 1-penalty stroke (3rd stroke).

4) if original ball is not found, play the provisional ball hit. So this would be the 4th stroke of the hole.

 

As far as why the red sticks are there. Here are the possibilities as I understand them:

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1) mismarked

2) intentionally there so to allow/encourage players to drop (speed up play theory)...even though it may not be a "bona fide" hazard and this maybe "wrong"..

3) by-design bona fide hazard area

If you play a provisional ball from the tee and you find your original ball in the hazard, your provisional is the ball in play and you are lying three.

 

If you think your ball is in the hazard you should look for it before playing another ball.

I know its a time waster and in friendly play me and my buddies waive that rule so as not to slow play down.

 

Correct me if I am wrong  guys.

post #16 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MitsuEd View Post
 

If you play a provisional ball from the tee and you find your original ball in the hazard, your provisional is the ball in play and you are lying three.

 

If you think your ball is in the hazard you should look for it before playing another ball.

I know its a time waster and in friendly play me and my buddies waive that rule so as not to slow play down.

 

Correct me if I am wrong  guys.


Saw this in another post/thread:

----------------------------------------------

Appendix I, Part A, paragraph 2b pertains:

 

2. Water Hazards

 

b. Ball Played Provisionally Under Rule 26-1

 

Permitting play of a ball provisionally under Rule 26-1 for a ball that may be in a water hazard (including a lateral water hazard) of such character that, if the original ball is not found, it is known or virtually certain that it is in the water hazard and it would be impracticable to determine whether the ball is in the hazard or to do so would unduly delay play.

post #17 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by MitsuEd View Post
 

If you play a provisional ball from the tee and you find your original ball in the hazard, your provisional is the ball in play and you are lying three.

 

If you think your ball is in the hazard you should look for it before playing another ball.

I know its a time waster and in friendly play me and my buddies waive that rule so as not to slow play down.

 

Correct me if I am wrong  guys.

 

 

Not quite right.  If your ball may be lost outside of a hazard, as well as possibly in the hazard you may play a provisional.  If you subsequently find your original ball in the hazard or have proof it's lost in the hazard, you would then abandon you provisional and continue with the original ball under the hazard rule.

post #18 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dormie1360 View Post
 

The "committee" (folks in charge of the course) define the boundaries.   From what you described, the fence sounds like a boundary, although technically if there were just red stakes on the left side of something marked as a hazard, and nothing on the opposite margin, then yes the hazard extends for infinity.

 

But again, it sounds like a boundary.  You don't normally get to play out of a "neighboring facility"  off the course.

If there are no markings on the opposite margin of a water hazard, how can it extend to infinity when in the absence of markings the natural margins of the hazard define it?

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