Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Making a Stroke from Water inside a Water Hazard

Martin Kaymer plays out of water at BMW International Open
If a ball lies in water in a water hazard, most golfers would be advised to take their punishment and take relief under penalty of one stroke. However, I suspect that there are few of us that have not tried to play that miracle stroke from water, however rash it may have been at the time. For this reason I am listing the main do’s and don’ts when you are faced with this circumstance. The don’ts first;

•    Don’t touch the ground in the hazard with your club, or you will probably incur a penalty (e.g. Michelle Wie’s breach, which I covered in this blog). Note that there are exceptions, such as to prevent yourself falling.
•    Don’t touch the water with your club, even on the backswing (e.g. Graeme McDowell’s breach, which I covered in this blog).
•    Don’t touch or move any loose impediments in the hazard, such as moving pebbles in the hazard with your feet whilst taking a firm stance (e.g. Aaron Baddeley’s breach, which I covered in this blog).
•    Don’t move a loose impediment on your backswing (e.g. Brian Davis’s breach when he moved a dead palm frond on his backswing in his one hole playoff against Jim Furyk in the 2010 Verizon Heritage tournament.)
•    Don’t wash your club in the water if your ball is still in the hazard after you have made your stroke.
•    Don’t forget that you may still drop outside the hazard for a penalty of one stroke, Rule 26-2. (e.g. Rory McIlroy choosing to take this relief under penalty, which I covered in this blog).

And some of the Do’s, or more accurately, May’s;

•    You may use your club to stop falling (Exception 1a to Rule 13-4).
•    You may take more than one club in the bunker (Exception 1b to Rule 13-4).
•    You may touch anything growing in the hazard with practice swings or your backswing (Note to Rule 13-4).
•    You may remove any movable obstruction from the hazard, such as a tin can (Rule 24-1).
•    You may search for a ball in water in a water hazard by probing with a club and there is no penalty if you cause it to move while doing so, but the ball must be replaced (Rule 12-1c).
•    You may play a ball that is moving in water, but don't wait for it to move to a more advantageous position (Rule 14-6).

If you would like to see how Martin Kaymer played his stroke out of the water hazard (photo above) and how it earned him European Tour Shot of the Month for June 2015, click here.

Good golfing,


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