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kinetiqueman

Lateral Hazard, Point of Entry Dispute

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I have a serious feud going with my brother who has issues with losing!

The situation....

We play skins for a buck or two a hole.  We had a threesome where he was down 4&5 going into the last hole (11th due to darkness) and we all went double or nothing.  The hole is a 170 yard blind shot to the green that has a water hazard in front and a lateral hazard on the right side of the green.  I hit what I thought was a nice shot with a left to right fade.  It looked like it was going to land on the green but it hit the right side green support wall and went into the hazard (nobody could see this, but we heard it hit the wood support - my brother contends what we heard could have been the ball hitting a tree).  There is no dispute that the ball went into the right lateral hazard.

The problem, it appeared to me that my shot clearly carried the  green and then went into the hazard allowing me two club lengths relief no closer to the hole on the right side of the green.  My brother claimed that as I cannot be certain of the point of entry, I need to play from in front of the water hazard.  I disagreed and played close to the green, made my up and down which resulted in a push.

If there is a dispute on point of entry, how does that get resolved?  I saw a similar situation in a pga event a few years back and it was the judgement of the golfer who played the shot that has final say on where they think the point of entry is.  However, I cannot find a definitive rule on this.  Does anyone have the answer to this?

As a last note, the third in our group also thought it went over the green (I don't think that matters at all but want to make clear it is a legitimate dispute over point of entry rather than ).

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Originally Posted by kinetiqueman

I have a serious feud going with my brother who has issues with losing!

The situation....

We play skins for a buck or two a hole.  We had a threesome where he was down 4&5 going into the last hole (11th due to darkness) and we all went double or nothing.  The hole is a 170 yard blind shot to the green that has a water hazard in front and a lateral hazard on the right side of the green.  I hit what I thought was a nice shot with a left to right fade.  It looked like it was going to land on the green but it hit the right side green support wall and went into the hazard (nobody could see this, but we heard it hit the wood support - my brother contends what we heard could have been the ball hitting a tree).  There is no dispute that the ball went into the right lateral hazard.

The problem, it appeared to me that my shot clearly carried the  green and then went into the hazard allowing me two club lengths relief no closer to the hole on the right side of the green.  My brother claimed that as I cannot be certain of the point of entry, I need to play from in front of the water hazard.  I disagreed and played close to the green, made my up and down which resulted in a push.

If there is a dispute on point of entry, how does that get resolved?  I saw a similar situation in a pga event a few years back and it was the judgement of the golfer who played the shot that has final say on where they think the point of entry is.  However, I cannot find a definitive rule on this.  Does anyone have the answer to this?

As a last note, the third in our group also thought it went over the green (I don't think that matters at all but want to make clear it is a legitimate dispute over point of entry rather than ).


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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The feud is evolving...

The dispute is now whether the ball ever crossed the lateral hazard to a playable lie.  See link for clearer understanding...

http://www.google.com/maps?saddr=%2B28%C2%B0+46%27+28.37%22,+-81%C2%B0+23%27+52.20%22+%2828.774548,+-81.397834%29&daddr;=28.77396,-81.398468+to:28.773847,-81.398849+to:28.773941,-81.399144&hl;=en&ie;=UTF8&sll;=28.774806,-81.398381&sspn;=0.002332,0.004823&mra;=mi&mrsp;=3&sz;=18&dirflg;=w&t;=h&z;=18

There is no doubt in my mind (or that of a third party - and for full disclosure he was not disinterested party as the result directly affected his winnings) that I crossed both the lateral hazard and the water hazard and then back into the lateral hazard.  Is there a rule or other directive that states it is my sole judgement of whether the ball was 'virtually certain' that the ball was over a playable area prior to entering the lateral hazard?

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You didn't say if you found your ball in the right side hazard, just that it hit the right side green support wall, although you didn't actually see the ball do this but you heard it hit something and assumed it was the support wall.  I assume you did not find your ball in the hazard as that would have ended the argument.  If you didn't find your ball in the right hazard and it isn't a water hazard then I believe you should have taken a stroke and distance penalty for a lost ball.  If you found your ball in the right hazard and/or it is a water hazard I think you proceeded correctly.  But to be honest I'm not sure who decides just where a ball crossed the hazard line last.  I have always assumed it was the golfer but have never had this point disputed in any case I can remember.

I read this again I guess since you called the right hazard a lateral hazard it was water.  In which case if you are virtually certain the ball is in the hazard you proceeded correctly.  But when the entry point is disputed I'm not sure who decides.

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