The Blog

TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course 17th Hole

Article 17 of 31 about the 2019-Rules of Golf draft:

“Water hazards”

This is part 17 (of 31) in a series of blogs about some of the proposed changes to the
Rules of Golf effective as of January 1st 2019. Focusing on rules changes involving Water Hazards.


17.1. Which area?

Water hazards will in the proposal to the 2019-Rules of Golf no longer be called “water
hazards” but “penalty areas”.

17.2. Red and yellow penalty areas.

Red and yellow water hazards / penalty areas will still exist, but the golf club will be
entitled to deem them all to be red. Thereby the extra “two-club-lenght-option” will be
available – which probably will make many players very happy!

17.3. Play the ball as it lies.

Under the current Rules of Golf you are allowed to play the ball as it lies in the penalty
area. This Rule will be the same in the proposed 2019-Rules of Golf.

17.4. “Known or virtually certain”?

Under the current Rules of Golf, you are allowed to apply the water hazard rule (26-1),
under penalty of one stroke, only if it is known or virtually certain that the ball is in the
water hazard. Thus, there must be almost no doubt, that the ball is in the water hazard,
for you to proceed under the water hazard rule.
This will be the same under the proposed 2019-Rules of Golf.

17.5. Relief with penalty.

The relief options under the proposed 2019-Rules of Golf are changed.
You will have these options with a one stroke penalty:

1. Play from the spot where you last played. Same Rule as today.

2. Drop in a penalty area, which is defined as an area 20 inches on each side of the
reference line (= the extension away from the hole of the straight line between the hole
and the spot, where the ball last crossed the margins of the area). Almost the same as
of today

3. (only in a red water hazard): Drop outside the water hazard within 80 inches of the
“crossing-spot” (not nearer the hole). Not the same as we have today: Unless the golf
clubs allows it, you no longer will have the option of dropping on the other side of the
red water hazard (penalty area)!

See Previous Article: The Flagstick

See Next Article: Provisional Ball


This post was written by The Oswald Academy.

Leave a Comment