A friendly reminder on what the colored stakes mean.
What are your options?
- You may play the ball as it lay with no penalty. However, you may not move impediments such as sticks, leaves, rocks, etc. You also cannot ground the club (like in a sand trap your club head may not touch the ground before you begin your backswing).
- Your second option is to “take a drop” and move the ball with a one stroke penalty. You may move the ball back as far as you want along the path the ball was travelling when it entered the hazard.
- Your third option is to re-hit from your previous location again with a one stroke penalty.
Red Stakes Only
For Red Stakes only, there are additional options in addition to the 3 mentioned above. A fourth option for Red Stakes is to “take a drop” within 2 club lengths from where the ball entered the Hazard as long as it is no closer to the hole, again with a one stroke penalty. Your final Red Stake option is to cross over to the opposite side of the hazard and take two club lengths no closer to the hole with a one stroke penalty.
White Stakes = Out-of-Bounds
Unlike hitting the ball in a hazard, you don’t have any options when it comes to hitting the ball out of bounds. If your ball comes to rest in out-of-bounds territory you must take a penalty stroke and then re-hit from the spot of your last shot. (ie. If your tee shot goes out of bounds, you must re-tee. If your second shot lands in-bounds you will be laying 3).
In an attempt to keep pace of play going, it is recommended you hit a “provisional” second shot if you think your shot may be lost or out of bounds. If your first shot is lost or out of bounds, the “provisional” ball is now in play and you must account for the penalty stroke. If your initial shot is found in-bounds, continue play with that ball with no penalty and pick up the “provisional.” You must announce you are “playing a provisional” before taking the shot.