Tuesday Ladies Afternoon

Golf Rules Answers and new Rule


1. 3   

See Rule 26-1 for the five relief options a player is entitled to when taking relief from a lateral water hazard.

26-1. Relief for Ball in Water Hazard

It is a question of fact whether a ball that has not been found after having been struck toward a water hazard is in the hazard. In the absence of knowledge or virtual certainty that a ball struck toward a water hazard, but not found, is in the hazard, the player must proceed under Rule 27-1.

If a ball is found in a water hazard or if it is known or virtually certain that a ball that has not been found is in the water hazard (whether the ball lies in water or not), the player may under penalty of one stroke:


Proceed under the stroke and distance provision of Rule 27-1 by playing a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played (see Rule 20-5); or


Drop a ball behind the water hazard, keeping the point at which the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind the water hazard the ball may be dropped; or


As additional options available only if the ball last crossed the margin of a lateral water hazard, drop a ball outside the water hazard within two club-lengths of and not nearer the hole than (i) the point where the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard or (ii) a point on the opposite margin of the water hazard equidistant from the hole.

2. False

See the definition of Out of Bounds. Object defining out of bounds, such as walls, fences, stakes and railings are not obstructions and are deemed to be                     fixed. Thus, the player is not entitled to take relief form an obstruction under Rule 24-2b.

3. 1 stroke

See Rule 19-2. If a player's ball is accidentally deflected or stopped by himself, his partner, or either of their caddies of equipment, the player incurs a penalty of one stroke. The ball must be played as it lies, except when it comes to rest in or on the player's, his partner's or either of their caddies'clothes of equipment.



ant hill is a loose impediment (Rule 23-1) and may be removed, but there is no other relief without penalty since an ant is not a burrowing animal (Rule 25-1b).


At the CGSC, no Local Rule, treating ant hills as Abnormal Ground Conditions – GUR, has been adopted giving relief from fire-ants although such a local rule providing relief would be justified. A fire-ants’ mound or hill is removable, but its removal will cause the fire-ants to swarm out of the ground. When this occurs, anyone in the vicinity is in danger of being bitten by the ants, and the bite of a fire-ant can cause serious illness.


According to Decision 1-4/10 if a ball is so close to a fire-ants’ mound that a player is in danger, the player is, in equity, entitled to relief. It is unreasonable to expect the player to play from such a dangerous situation and unfair to require the player to incur a penalty under Rule 28 (Ball Unplayable) although this Rule remains an option.


If the ball lay through the green, the player may, without penalty, drop a ball within one club-length not nearer the hole that is not dangerous and is not in a hazard and not on a putting green.


If the ball lay in a hazard, the player may drop a ball, without penalty, within one club-length of and not nearer the hole. If possible, the ball must be dropped in the same hazard and, if not possible for the player to drop the ball in a hazard, she may drop it, under penalty of one stroke, outside the hazard, keeping the point where the original ball lay between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped.


If the ball lay on the putting green, the player may, without penalty, place a ball at the nearest spot not nearer the hole that is not dangerous and that is not in a hazard.


Taken from ‘Decisions on the Rules of Golf’.





An “abnormal ground condition” is any casual water, ground under repair or hole, cast or runway on the course made by a burrowing animal, a reptile or a bird.



A ”burrowing animal” is an animal (other than a worm, insect or the like) that makes a hole for habitation or shelter, such as a rabbit, mole, groundhog, gopher or salamander.


Note: A hole made by a non-burrowing animal, such as a dog, is not an abnormal ground condition unless marked or declared as ground under repair.




Loose impediments” are natural objects, including:


stones, leaves, twigs, branches and the like,

dung, and

worms, insects and the like, and the casts and heaps made by them,

provided they are not:

fixed or growing,

solidly embedded, or

adhering to the ball.


Sand and loose soil are loose impediments on the putting green, but not elsewhere.


Snow and natural ice, other than frost, are either casual water or loose impediments,

at the option of the player.


Dew and frost are not loose impediments.