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I understand water hazard red stakes. I thought I understood red stakes in general but maybe not.

My father tells me that you must find your ball in the woods if it is red stakes in order to take the lateral drop.

I thought it was the same as water red stakes and you simply take the drop at where it entered - regardless if you find it (like water).

Which is right?

Also if you find your ball in red or yellow - can you play it or must you take the penalty?

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the course I play has an area with very tall, thick grass. They have it marked like a lateral hazard (red stakes). If you find your ball, you can opt to take a drop like a lateral, or if you want to play it, you can ground your club and move loose impediments just as if it were not a lateral hazard. If you don't find it, then you can take a drop at the point of entry. I hate that they play it this way. If you it in there and can't find it.... back to the tee you go.

My swing thoughts:

- Negative thinking hurts more than negative swinging.
- I let my swing balance me.
- Full extension back and through to the target. - I swing under not around my body. - My club must not twist in my swing. - Keep a soft left knee

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the course I play has an area with very tall, thick grass. They have it marked like a lateral hazard (red stakes). If you find your ball, you can opt to take a drop like a lateral, or if you want to play it, you can ground your club and move loose impediments just as if it were not a lateral hazard. If you don't find it, then you can take a drop at the point of entry. I hate that they play it this way. If you it in there and can't find it.... back to the tee you go.

I could understand if they did it either as a pure lateral hazard or as nothing, but to mix the two just doesn't make sense. Either play it as nothing (if you can't find it, play it as a lost ball) or as a lateral hazard (re-hit, drop, or play it as it lies without grounding the club).
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I local course has "natural" areas red staked. There isn't water there but you are supposed to play it as if there was. You also aren't supposed to go into red staked natural areas to look for your ball. They are "environmentally sensitive" and as such you are supposed to stay out. Hence the red stake (I suppose). You don't often see golfers wading around in water hazards looking for their ball. Since this course has a lot of these red staked areas I suppose they feel it is more fair to stake them red rather than white O.B. If they were staked white O.B. it would no doubt slow down play significantly and take an even worse toll on your scorecard.

Well that's been my assumption as to the course's way of thinking.

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My father tells me that you must find your ball in the woods if it is red stakes in order to take the lateral drop.

If you KNOW your ball is in there - your dad is wrong.

If you THINK your ball is in there - your dad is right. RULE BOOK:
6-1/1 Meaning of "Known or Virtually Certain" If a ball has been struck towards a water hazard and has not been found, the term "known or virtually certain" indicates the level of confidence that the ball is in the water hazard that is required for the player to proceed under Rule 26-1. A player may not assume that his ball is in a water hazard simply because there is a possibility that the ball may be in the hazard. If it is not known that the ball is in the water hazard, in order for the player to proceed under Rule 26-1 there must be almost no doubt that the ball is in the hazard. Otherwise, a ball that cannot be found must be considered lost outside the hazard and the player must proceed under Rule 27-1. All available evidence must be taken into account in determining whether knowledge or virtual certainty exists, including any testimony and the physical conditions in the area around the water hazard. For example, if a water hazard is surrounded by a fairway on which a ball could hardly be lost, there exists a greater certainty that the ball is in the hazard than there would be if there were deep rough in the area. Observing a ball splash in a water hazard would not necessarily provide knowledge or virtual certainty as to the location of the ball as sometimes such a ball may skip out of a hazard.

If you find it you can play it without penalty, but you can't ground your club at address.

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the course I play has an area with very tall, thick grass. They have it marked like a lateral hazard (red stakes). If you find your ball, you can opt to take a drop like a lateral, or if you want to play it, you can ground your club and move loose impediments just as if it were not a lateral hazard. If you don't find it, then you can take a drop at the point of entry. I hate that they play it this way. If you it in there and can't find it.... back to the tee you go.

Boy is that contrary to the rules of golf. I know some courses like to mark things as lateral hazards to speed up play, but to then say if you find it pretend the red stakes aren't there, that's going a little too far.

Rob Tyska

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Boy is that contrary to the rules of golf. I know some courses like to mark things as lateral hazards to speed up play, but to then say if you find it pretend the red stakes aren't there, that's going a little too far.

It's not so much going "too far" as it goes completely against what the course rule is intended to do.

If the intent is to speed up play, you aren't accomplishing anything is people are still spending time searching for their ball. I understand you'd have to go back to your previous spot if it's OB, but 95% of daily hackers out there don't go back to play their next shot. So in the end people are playing it just the same as if it were marked OB instead of as a lateral hazard (searching for an eternity and then just throwing one down where the ball crossed the hazard/OB line).
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I local course has "natural" areas red staked. There isn't water there but you are supposed to play it as if there was. You also aren't supposed to go into red staked natural areas to look for your ball. They are "environmentally sensitive" and as such you are supposed to stay out. Hence the red stake (I suppose). You don't often see golfers wading around in water hazards looking for their ball. Since this course has a lot of these red staked areas I suppose they feel it is more fair to stake them red rather than white O.B. If they were staked white O.B. it would no doubt slow down play significantly and take an even worse toll on your scorecard.

Not sure I understand why staking these natural areas as Red (lateral hazard) is better than staking them as White (OOB). The reason I ask is that technically, you are allowed to hit out of a hazard (assuming you can find your ball). You are NOT allowed to play from OOB. By staking it Red, it seems that would "tempt" some guys to hop over and play from the hazard. As long as they don't ground their club, they would be correct, as far as the rules go. By staking it white/OOB, that would ensure that no one is going to swing their club in these natural areas, and potentially damage a protected area.

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Just this year they let the grass grow up to make the short hole play harder by making people think about hitting driver and having 80 yrds into the hole. It works because I never hit driver there anymore... even from the tip of the back tees which make it play almost 460. I hate that they play it as a lateral. Either cut the grass, play it as a real lateral, or make players go back to the tee if they can't find it.

If the players know about the rule, they will hit a provisional before they go looking for it. The way they play it does not speed up play.

My swing thoughts:

- Negative thinking hurts more than negative swinging.
- I let my swing balance me.
- Full extension back and through to the target. - I swing under not around my body. - My club must not twist in my swing. - Keep a soft left knee

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Our club has native grass areas like that, but treat them as out of bounds. There are no stakes, but signs stating entering the area is a one stroke penalty under local rule.

I local course has "natural" areas red staked. There isn't water there but you are supposed to play it as if there was. You also aren't supposed to go into red staked natural areas to look for your ball. They are "environmentally sensitive" and as such you are supposed to stay out. Hence the red stake (I suppose). You don't often see golfers wading around in water hazards looking for their ball. Since this course has a lot of these red staked areas I suppose they feel it is more fair to stake them red rather than white O.B. If they were staked white O.B. it would no doubt slow down play significantly and take an even worse toll on your scorecard.

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Not sure I understand why staking these natural areas as Red (lateral hazard) is better than staking them as White (OOB). The reason I ask is that technically, you are allowed to hit out of a hazard (assuming you can find your ball). You are NOT allowed to play from OOB. By staking it Red, it seems that would "tempt" some guys to hop over and play from the hazard. As long as they don't ground their club, they would be correct, as far as the rules go. By staking it white/OOB, that would ensure that no one is going to swing their club in these natural areas, and potentially damage a protected area.

On the course's score card they have printed that you are not permited to enter red staked "natural" areas.

USGA Rules Govern All Play Local Rules Environmentally sensitive areas: Played as water hazards or lateral hazards designated by red or yellow stakes. Please respect our facility and the natural beauty of these protected areas by not entering them.

Bartram Trail scorecard

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Nike Machspeed 4W 17*, 7W 21* stock stiff shafts
Ping i10 irons 4-9, PW, UW, SW, LW AWT stiff flex
Titleist SC Kombi 35"; Srixon Z Star XV tour yellow

Clicgear 3.0; Sun Mountain Four 5

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On the course's score card they have printed that you are not permited to enter red staked "natural" areas.

At Redstone GC (where the Shell Houston Open is played), almost every hole has red stakes surrounding it, mainly because they don't want nayone venturing out there to search for a ball. It isn't because it's a "sensitive" area but more that there are a bunch of Water Moccasin snakes living in the brush and they don't want anyone to get bitten.
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I understand water hazard red stakes. I thought I understood red stakes in general but maybe not.

Red stakes indicates a lateral hazard and you do not have to find the ball to take the drop. You do have to be certain the ball entered the hazard.

You may play from within a hazard unless there is a local rule prohibiting it (i.e. the increasingly popular "environmentally sensitive area") The marking of areas where lost balls are common, but are not technically water hazards (thick woods, brush or desert areas) is usually done to speed play, but is fundamentally contrary to the rules of golf.
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Thanks everyone for some clarification.

EDGE stand bag
S9-1 PRO S - Matrix XCON 6
Rapture 14 degree Aldila VS
DWS Baffler 2 Hybrid Adila stiff
A7 4 hybrid USTAXIVAP1 710 5-GW KBS StiffCG14 - 54.1262.07 Vokey Spin MilledWhite Ice BladeGolf BallsBlack TP & Pro V1x

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Note: This thread is 4734 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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