RED VERSUS YELLOW & HOW TO TAKE THE DROP

One of the most common mistakes made by golfers is how to proceed after a ball has entered into a yellow or red-staked hazard. I will quickly define the difference between a yellow and red-staked hazard.

Yellow stake:

A water hazard is typically found to be directly in front of a playing surface and normally requires a player to carry this type of hazard to reach the fairway or green.

Red stake:

A Lateral Water hazard is typically found to be left or right of the playing surface i.e. the fairway or green. 

Refer to Rule 26-1 Water Hazards (Including Lateral Water Hazards) in your USGA “The Rules of Golf” book as a reference. The rules can be reviewed at http://www.usga.org/rules/index.html.

How to Proceed:

To continue play after a ball has entered and considered lost in a water hazard that is marked by yellow/RED line or stake and requires next stroke to be played outside the water hazard. Play under penalty of one stroke

Options:

1.      Play a ball by dropping at the point where the player last stroke was played. Or you have the option to re-tee if the player was on the tee box.

2.      Identify the line on which the ball last crosses the water hazard in reference to the hole. Use that line for taking a drop behind the water hazard, which mean the water hazard cannot be taken out of play when the player proceed with his or her next stroke. There is not limit on how far back a player can go and take a drop on the identified line

3.      An additional option is available only when a ball has entered into a Lateral Water Hazard marked with a ReD line or stake. A player may advance by identifying the point where the ball last crosses the lateral water hazard. From this point the ball can be dropped using two-club lengths equal distance or no closer to the hole. In some cases that hazard can be taken out of play.

Examples:

Yellow Stake Hazard:

After taking a stroke from the tee box or fairway a players ball in flight hits a putting green and spins back into a yellow mark water hazard. Under the penalty of one stroke the player will have the option to re-tee if playing from the tee box. Or drop a ball as near as possible from where the last stroke was played. Or identify the point were the ball last crosses the water hazard in reference to the hole and drop the ball behind the water hazard (i.e. keeping the hazard in play) using the identified crossing point as a reference line going as for back on this line as the player would like to play his or her next stroke.

Red Stake Hazard:

A player hits a ball into a hazard mark with red stake/line on the right side of the fairway. Under the penalty of one stroke the player may use options 1&2, Or consider the third option by identify the point were the ball crosses the lateral water hazard and taking a drop of two club lengths from the stake hazard that is of equal distance or no closer to the hole.

Note:

It is still every player’s responsibility to understand the rules of golf as stated by the USGA Rules of Golf Handbook. During tournament play DDGC will always enforce and adhere to the USGA Rules of Golf handbook.

Donald Williams

DDGC Rules Chairperson