Every golfer’s worst nightmare lies in a place where the grass ends and the water starts. Nobody likes the sound of a fresh Pro-V splashing in the pond, but it happens to the best of us.
When Playing Your Shot
You have three options:
- You can play your ball as it lies without any penalty. This is the most difficult shot since the ball is either submerged very deeply under water, or it can just be very messy. The only time that playing the shot is best is if the ball is lying in the grassy area surrounding the water within the hazard. Remember, you may not ground the club prior to your shot, like in a bunker, not can you make contact with the hazard while taking your practice swing.
- Next, you may drop the ball behind the hazard directly behind where it entered the hazard. You must keep the point of entry directly between the hole and where you drop the ball. Taking a drop will result in a one stroke penalty. But at least you can stay dry. This option is most popular since most balls shot into a water hazard cannot be found or retrieved.
- Your third option is to go back to the spot where you played the offending shot, known as a stroke-and-distance penalty. You must add a stroke to your score, and forfeit the distance gained as well.
Lateral hazards are a bit different and have two other options with them:
- You may drop the ball within two club lengths of the point where the ball last crossed the boundary of the hazard.
- You may also drop the ball at the point opposite side of the hazard also within two club lengths.
Either option will still result in you having to take a one stroke penatly. But remember, these two options are extra ones based on your situation. You may still exercise any of the three above if desired.