By Rules Guy
Monday, June 11, 2007

You hit your tee shot in the middle of a large puddle of casual water. You can see it, but you can't retrieve it without going ankle-deep into the water. You should:

A. Take off those shoes because you have to finish the hole with the same ball you hit off the tee.

B. Take relief from the casual water without retrieving the ball, and without penalty, because there is sufficient evidence his ball lies in the water.

C. Take a 1-stroke penalty for substituting a new ball, then proceed under the normal rules for hitting into casual water.

Go to the next page for the answer.

You hit your tee shot in the middle of a large puddle of casual water. You can see it, but you can't retrieve it without going ankle-deep into the water. You should:

A. Take off those shoes because you have to finish the hole with the same ball you hit off the tee.

B. Take relief from the casual water without retrieving the ball, and without penalty, because there is sufficient evidence his ball lies in the water.

C. Take a 1-stroke penalty for substituting a new ball, then proceed under the normal rules for hitting into casual water.

ANSWER: B. You cannot be forced to use unreasonable effort to retrieve and identify your ball as long as there is reasonable evidence it's in casual water (Decision 25-1/1). Examples of sufficient evidence include seeing the ball go into the water or the fact that the ball could easily be found if it were in the area near the water.

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