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Water Hazard Drop Zone

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I have searched the USGA rules of golf but could not find the answer to this situation.  You are on the tee of a par 4 and there is a pond directly in front of the tee box that you must carry.  There is also a drop zone on the other side of the pond over to the right.  If you drive the ball into the water and go to the drop zone are you hitting 3 or 4?  Also, are drop zones if you are in the hazard even legal?


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Yes, it's possible to have a drop zone to be used when your ball is in the hazard.  You drop there instead of behind the hazard hitting 3.

However, it is not a legal drop zone if it does not force you to cross at least part of the hazard:


Local Rule Allows Drop on Green Side of Water Hazard When Ball Fails to Clear Hazard

Q. The design of a hole is such that a player must hit the ball about 100 yards in order to carry a water hazard. A Local Rule has been adopted to assist players who cannot drive over the hazard by allowing them to drop a ball, under penalty of two strokes, in a dropping zone that is located across the hazard. Is such a Local Rule authorized?

A. No. Such a Local Rule substantially alters Rule 26-1b as it allows the player to drop a ball on a part of the course (i.e., on the green side of the water hazard) that the Rule would not have permitted him to reach. Furthermore, the penalty for taking relief under the water hazard Rule (Rule 26) is one stroke, and may not be increased to two strokes by a Committee through a Local Rule – see Rule 33-8b .


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Thanks for the information.


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If you drive the ball into the water and go to the drop zone are you hitting 3 or 4


1 - Original stroke

2 - Penalty for dropping out.

3 - Stroke from the DZ


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