Rules of Engagment #2 - The Hazards

Many an argument has ensued over the discussion of what the difference is on rulings of a Red Lateral Hazard versus a Yellow Water Hazard. I have heard more answers to this dilemma than I have on the ramifications of the UK leaving the Euro.

Oh yes, like a lesser known marvel hero, ‘’R&A man’’ often emerges at the slightest whiff of a hazard entry, giving his varied opinion on the correct protocol.

So let’s clear this up so you can inform the competitor who showed defiance at your superior knowledge that they were, in fact, wrong.

The R&A states the following, relating to Water Hazards

If your ball is in a water hazard (yellow stakes and/or line) you may play the ball as it lies or, under penalty of one stroke:

  • Play a ball from where your last shot was played, or
  • Drop a ball any distance behind the water hazard keeping a straight line between the hole, the point of where the ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard and the spot on which the ball is dropped

If your ball is in a lateral water hazard (red stakes and/or lines) IN ADDITION to the options for a ball in a water hazard (see above), under penalty of one stroke, you may drop within two club-lengths of, and not nearer the hole than:

  • The point where the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard, or
  • A point on the opposite side of the hazard equidistant to the hole from the point where the ball last crossed the margin. 

Glad we have cleared that up, however if you want to avoid any future confusion….just stay out of the hazards!!!