No.78 Paths through Water Hazard


 
The photo shows a natural path through a water course with no artificial surface.

Question 1:
Where a water hazard is defined only by yellow stakes as in the first photo above;
a) Is the ball in the water hazard?
b) May the player ground their club in addressing the ball?
c) May a player move small stones lying around their ball?

Answer 1:

a) Yes.
b) No. the player must not touch the ground in the hazard with his hand or a club. Rule 13-4b.
c) No. A player may not move a loose impediment when it lies in the same hazard as their ball. Rule 23-1.


Note: This is not a bridge or a construction it is a naturally worn path. Therefore it is not an obstruction but is ground in a water hazard.

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Question 2:
Where a water hazard is defined by yellow stakes and lines as in the second photo above;
a) Is the ball in the water hazard?
b) May the player ground their club in addressing the ball?
c) May a player move small stones lying around their ball?


Answer 2:

a) No.
b) Yes.
c) Yes.

Note: The path through the water course is not within the defined margin of the water hazard.

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The photo shows an artificial path through a water course with a surface made of wood chippings.

Question 3:
a) Is the hazard a water hazard or lateral water hazard?
b) May the player ground their club in addressing the ball?
c) May a player move the large stone lying next to their ball?
d) May a player move the wood chippings lying around their ball?

Answer 3:

a) Lateral water hazard, because it is defined by red stakes.
b) Yes. An artificial construction is an obstruction and an obstruction in a water hazard is not ground in the hazard. Decision 13-4/30.
c) No. A player may not move a loose impediment when it lies in the same hazard as their ball. Rule 23-1.
d) No. Wood chippings are loose impediments even when used to make an artificially-surfaced road that is an immovable obstruction. This principle is confirmed in Decision 23/14. A player may not move a loose impediment when it lies in the same hazard as their ball. Rule 23-1.



Another 'Rhodes Rules School' Q&A will follow next week,
 
Good golfing,