RULE: In the Water Again?

 What, in the water again? Everybody says they know the options available to you - but are they right? Do I drop behind the water, or do I drop beside the water? What is the difference between a red penalty area and a yellow penalty area? Do they have the same or different rules?

The rules updated for 2019 no longer refer to water hazards, or lateral hazards. They both are called penalty areas, though the previous 'water hazard' is now called a yellow penalty area, while the water hazard previously called 'lateral' is now referred to as a red penalty area.

Option 1. Of course, if the ball is playable in any penalty area, you may now have a go,  grounding your club! No penalty.


 

Option 2. With a penalty of one stroke, play a ball as nearly as possible from the original position (in this example, A - from the tee. The ball can be teed.) 

Option 3. Under penalty of one stroke, drop a ball behind the yellow water hazard, B, keeping the point at which the original ball last crossed the margin of the yellow penalty area between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind the penalty area the ball may be dropped. The relief area is within one club length of the reference point.

 

 

Yuck—This time I’m in a red penalty area. 
Are my options the same?

Yes, you still have options 1 to 3 as above (Points A and B on the diagram) - still with or without penalty shot as described.

As an additional option, still with penalty shot, you may drop a ball outside the red penalty area within two club-lengths of and not nearer the hole than the point (C on the diagram) where the original ball last crossed the margin of the hazard.

See Diagram #2 in Rule 17.1d 

 

 

 

 

 

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