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Golf Rules – Water Hazards

Knowing how to correctly play lateral water hazards can sometimes test the best of golfers. And with water hazards at both the North East and Rising Sun courses, you’ll need to come prepared.

Golf Rulz 101

By Brian Kramp, CBGC Head Golf Professional

Rule 26 – Water Hazards

At both Chesapeake Bay Golf Club facilities, there are several water hazards, many which fall under the lateral water hazard designation (hazards that are marked with red paint or stakes).  Many times I am asked “what can I do?”, “how should I play it?”, “where should I drop?”, etc.

Let me first say that many players make the mistake of trying to take relief from the spot where they saw the ball splash into the water, instead of where it last crossed the margin of the hazard.  Once this spot is established, you have four options that include a one stroke penalty.

  1. Stroke and Distance, go back to the spot where you originally hit the ball into the water and play from there.
  2. Keep the spot where the ball last crossed the hazard and drop a ball behind that spot in line with the hole.  There is no limit as to how far back on this line you can go.
  3. Drop a ball two club lengths to the side of the hazard where it last crossed the margin, not nearer the hole.
  4. Drop on the opposite side of the water hazard equidistant from the hole.

A fifth option which does not require a one stroke penalty is to play the ball as it lies.

If you have any other questions, ask any of the PGA professionals at Chesapeake Bay Golf Club.