June - 2014
In my life, I have attempted exactly one shot out of a pond. All I ever read and heard about is if your ball is sitting half-way out of the water, you have a good chance to pull it off…
Wouldn't you know, that just because I was in a tournament, and it seemed so very important at that moment to try to save a shot, I convinced myself "You can do it!" "You can get that ball on the green!"
So here we go-I walked in and struggled to find a stance all while looking at the green moss, the weeds, and the odd colors of the floating debris going by- I suddenly realized that most likely this "stuff" was from the posterior of one of the many ducks that I also noticed were nearby and leaving just because I was entering their turf…
Well, rightly so, I began to have some second thoughts (I guess that's partly because I couldn't seem to get my footing at all) but it just seemed so important, that the glory of a difficult shot pulled off would make me look like a real golfer, I could do this-save a stroke, and in my mind, be a stud.
I guess you figured out what happened-the ball barely made it out of the hazard, but my slight miscalculation of the shots difficulty and the fact I slipped as I started my downswing, the resulting combination of my club hitting the mud, and the foreword momentum of my swing, it all made for a very long day afterwards.
Mud, moss, water, small rocks and duck doo-doo all went into my eyes, hair, mouth and clothes…
Which brings up the thought that occurs to us all at that moment-
"WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING?"
First time, last time.
On TV Ian Baker-Finch was talking about how you can't test the depth of the water in a hazard, and it reminded me of my adventure. So I thought it's good to see what you can and can't do in a hazard.
BALL IN A HAZARD
Q. What is meant by "test the condition of the hazard" in Rule 13-4a?
A. The term covers all actions by which the player could gain more information about the hazard than could be gained from taking his stance for the stroke to be made, bearing in mind that a certain amount of digging in with the feet in the sand or soil is permitted when taking the stance for a stroke.
Examples of actions that would not constitute testing the condition of the hazard include the following:
Examples of actions that would constitute testing the condition of the hazard in breach of Rule 13-4a include the following: