The grass is growing and the course has turned very green over the course of a week. Steve has been getting a lot of fertilizer down before the rains and it is really showing. Fairways and roughs are starting to be more defined and the course is taking shape.

After playing the course a few times and have started to get a better picture of the playability, I was able to go out and paint the course to get it ready for the 2018 season. There were some changes made, removing some Water Hazard (Yellow Staked) definitions and were made Lateral Water Hazards (Red Staked) definitions. You will find these made on hole’s 3, 4, 13 and 16. In preparation for 2019, we have gone ahead and made these necessary changes.

Here is the definition from the USGA Decisions Manuel for a better understanding:

A "lateral water hazard" is a water hazard or that part of a water hazard so situated that it is not possible, or is deemed by the Committee to be impracticable, to drop a ball behind the water hazard in accordance with Rule 26-Ib. All ground and water within the margin of a lateral water hazard are part of the lateral water hazard.

When the margin of a lateral water hazard is defined by stakes, the stakes are inside the lateral water hazard, and the margin of the hazard is defined by the nearest outside points of the stakes at ground level. When both stakes and lines are used to indicate a lateral water hazard, the stakes identify the hazard and the lines define the hazard margin. When the margin of a lateral water hazard is defined by a line on the ground, the line itself is in the lateral water hazard. The margin of a lateral water hazard extends vertically upwards and downwards.

A ball is in a lateral water hazard when it lies in or any part of it touches the lateral water hazard.

Stakes used to define the margin of or identify a lateral water hazard are obstructions.

There are 5 options when your ball is deemed in a Lateral Water Hazard:

  1. Play it as it lies without grounding your club in the hazard.
  2. Take the last point in which the ball entered, mark two club lengths, no nearer the hole and take a drop.
  3. Take the last point in which the ball entered, keep that point between you and the flag and move back as far as you would like to go then take a drop.
  4. Equal and Opposite Margins.
  5. Go back to where you last played the shot and re-hit.
    All of these options, except for the first, incur a One Stroke Penalty.

If you have any questions about rulings, please feel free to come see me and we can go over the rules situation. I have always enjoyed finding the answer to a tough rules question and learning something new about the game of golf.