Water Hazard Rules

Water Hazard Rules to Help You Out of the Drink

Water Hazard RulesBy: Dan Davis, PGA Professional Thousand Hills Golf Resort

Water Hazard Rules are among the questions that I am most asked pertaining to the most common Golf Rules. In this article I will provide a checklist that should help bring you closer to a correct ruling about water hazards. Remember any rules advice should always be reinforced by a quick check of the rules book. This will also promote good practice on using the book.

The first factor for determining the water hazard rules that needs to be determined is whether or not the ball is actually in the water hazard. It is important to understand that if this determination is not possible then you must follow rule 27-1 which pertains to a lost ball.

Next we need to determine what type of water hazard you are in. There are two types of Water Hazards. A yellow stake or line will determine a Regular Water Hazard and a red stake or line will determine a Lateral Water Hazard.

    Regular Water Hazard Rules offer the golfer the following options for relief:
  1. Play the ball from with in the hazard as it lies with out grounding your club. No penalty
  2. Replay your shot from the spot where it was last played. 1-shot penalty
  3. Play a shot from any point along a line that extends from the hole back through the point that the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard yet no closer to the hole than the point that the ball last crossed the hazard. 1-shot penalty
    Lateral water hazard rules offer the golfer the following options for relief:
  1. Play the ball from with in the hazard as it lies with out grounding your club. No penalty
  2. Replay your shot from the spot where it was last played. 1-shot penalty
  3. Play a shot from any point along a line that extends from the hole back through the point that the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard yet no closer to the hole than the point that the ball last crossed the hazard. 1-shot penalty
  4. Drop a ball that is no more than 2-club lengths form the point that the ball last crossed the hazard yet no closer to the hole. 1-shot penalty
  5. Follow the same procedure as in #4 above yet dropping from a point that is equidistance from the hole yet on the opposite side of the hazard. 1-shot penalty

Water Hazard RulesHopefully this water hazard rules refresher will help you on the (hopefully rare!) times you have to deal with water hazards. If you need some advice on how to stay out of the water hazards or some information on the most common golf rules feel free to contact Dan, a PGA Professional for clarification or lessons.