Water Hazard Rules: How to Identify Your Ball and Avoid a Penalty

Duration: 1:38

How do you avoid tacking on a one-stroke penalty? Easy, you follow the rules. Oftentimes it can be difficult to know what exactly the rules dictate in certain scenarios, so it’s important that you do your homework and understand the rules entirely. One of the most important facets of the game that you need to know the rules for is playing out of a bunker or water hazard. In this lesson, we teach you about a common situation that arises when you hit into a bunker or water hazard, and teach you how to properly navigate the situation in line with bunker rules and water hazard rules.

Understanding bunker rules and water hazard rules

To help you limit the number of penalties you incur on your scorecard because of water hazard rules, Mark Wilson of the PGA Rules Committee is going to teach you about a situation you might find yourself in during the course of a round. The situation is this: you hit into a bunker or water hazard, and find your ball plugged to the point where you can’t make out whether it’s actually your ball or someone else’s. You play out of the hazard, and discover on your next shot that you played the wrong ball. As per bunker rules and water hazard rules, you either incur a one-stroke penalty or forfeit the hole!

Now, what should you do to make sure that doesn’t happen? Mark explains when and how water hazard rules dictate you’re entitled to identify your ball to ensure you play the correct one. He teaches you what you should do, walking you step by step through the proper procedure, including announcing your intent to move the ball, marking the ball’s spot, and picking up and replacing it. If you follow Mark’s guidance and utilize the advice in his other expert rules of golf videos, you’ll know what to do the next time bunker rules and water hazard rules come into play during a round!

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2 Responses to “Water Hazard Rules: How to Identify Your Ball and Avoid a Penalty”
  1. Steve Nagy
    Steve Nagy

    Mark says 2 stroke penalty in stroke play but the narrative states the penalty is one stroke. I believe a 2 stroke penalty is correct, yes?

  2. Don

    Forgot the most important part of the rule about putting ball back into the same spot and condition.