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# OB boundary question

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This happened yesterday: The driving range is to the right of a hole, so the right side of that hole is marked OB. There's a winding cart path down the right side, and the white OB stakes are all placed about a foot to the right of the cart path, every 15 yards or so.  The stakes are not in a straight line, and they are always a foot to the right of the path, which as I say is windy.   So it appears that the stake/OB line is following the contour of the path, but there is no white line painted between the stakes so I can't be sure.

My drive ended up in the grass, 6" to the right of the path.  If I drew an imaginary straight line between the nearest white stakes, my ball would be on the outside (OB) side of that line. But if I drew an imaginary line that followed the contours of the cart path (as the white stakes did all the way down the path), the ball would be inside that line.

So the question is, if an OB is defined by stakes that appear to follow the contours of an OB boundary, and there is no line painted, is the OB line always a straight line between adjacent stakes, or is it a line that follows the contours?

Same question for hazards: If there are red stakes around a lake for example, but no line is painted between them, is the hazard line always between the stakes or does the water line define it?

Edit: Attaching a crude drawing to help illustrate.

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I am no expert in this area, but it is my understanding that you use an imaginary line connecting the two nearest stakes and if it has crossed over it is OB or in the hazard.

After looking at your drawing it would appear that they might need a few more white stakes.

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The first thing I'd do is check the scorecard and see if there is any clarification.  Usually a course is pretty good at explaining what defines the out of bounds.  Lacking such clarification, then you have to use the straight line from stake to stake, measured from the inside edge of the stake (the stakes themselves are out of bounds).

If the local rules clarify that the outside edge of the cart path is out of bounds, then the boundary would follow the cart path.

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

The first thing I'd do is check the scorecard and see if there is any clarification...

Oh yes, forgot to mention there's nothing on the scorecard.

What about my follow-up question? (Same situation but with a hazard instead of OB). Could've sworn I read somewhere that in the absence of a line you follow the contours of the hazard - or maybe that was in the absence of stakes or a line...

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Originally Posted by sacm3bill

Oh yes, forgot to mention there's nothing on the scorecard.

What about my follow-up question? (Same situation but with a hazard instead of OB). Could've sworn I read somewhere that in the absence of a line you follow the contours of the hazard - or maybe that was in the absence of stakes or a line...

I would first look at the Definition of Water Hazard.

Then, I'd look in Rule 26, Water Hazards.

Following that, I'd look in the Decisions pertaining to Rule 26.

At some point, I'd expect to be sent to Rule 33, The Committee, for additional information.

I might eventually conclude that, in the absence of a line, the hazard is defined by the stakes and in the absence of stakes the water hazard would still exist and that I must determine the natural boundaries of the hazard and proceed accordingly.

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Originally Posted by sacm3bill

Same question for hazards: If there are red stakes around a lake for example, but no line is painted between them, is the hazard line always between the stakes or does the water line define it?

Edit: Attaching a crude drawing to help illustrate.

You go by the stakes, but see this exception for hazards.

## 26/2

#### Ball Within Natural Margin of Water Hazard But Outside Stakes Defining Margin

Q. Stakes defining the margin of a water hazard were improperly installed. As a result, an area which clearly was part of the water hazard was outside the stakes and, thus, technically was outside the hazard. A player's ball came to rest in water in this area. The player claimed that, in view of the alignment of the stakes, his ball was in casual water through the green. Was the claim valid?

A. No. The Committee erred in not properly defining the margin of the hazard as required by Rule 33-2a , but a player is not entitled to take advantage of such an error. Since it was clear that the place where the player's ball lay was within the natural boundaries of the water hazard, the claim should not be upheld.

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Originally Posted by sacm3bill

This happened yesterday: The driving range is to the right of a hole, so the right side of that hole is marked OB. There's a winding cart path down the right side, and the white OB stakes are all placed about a foot to the right of the cart path, every 15 yards or so.  The stakes are not in a straight line, and they are always a foot to the right of the path, which as I say is windy.   So it appears that the stake/OB line is following the contour of the path, but there is no white line painted between the stakes so I can't be sure.

My drive ended up in the grass, 6" to the right of the path.  If I drew an imaginary straight line between the nearest white stakes, my ball would be on the outside (OB) side of that line. But if I drew an imaginary line that followed the contours of the cart path (as the white stakes did all the way down the path), the ball would be inside that line.

So the question is, if an OB is defined by stakes that appear to follow the contours of an OB boundary, and there is no line painted, is the OB line always a straight line between adjacent stakes, or is it a line that follows the contours?

Same question for hazards: If there are red stakes around a lake for example, but no line is painted between them, is the hazard line always between the stakes or does the water line define it?

Edit: Attaching a crude drawing to help illustrate.

sacm,

Looks like you had the exact same issue I had several weeks ago, lol.  I hid my question in an old thread, but perhaps you can gain some extra knowledge from the responses I got as well ...

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