Casual Water?

Before I delve deeper into my article, I want to send a huge shout out to the Roundel Glen Golf Course staff for managing the flood conditions and keeping the course open today. We are all grateful for your efforts!

Today Rule 25-1 was without doubt the most important rule while on the links today. Before outlining the effects of this rule on today’s round, it is important to understand what it means. Golf Canada states that “Abnormal Ground Conditions – An “abnormal ground condition” is any casual water, ground under repair or hole, cast or runway on the course made by a burrowing animal, a reptile or a bird.” “Casual water’’ is any temporary accumulation of water on the course that is not in a water hazard and is visible before or after the player takes his stance. Snow and natural ice, other than frost, are either casual water or loose impediments, at the option of the player. Manufactured ice is an obstruction.
Dew and frost are not casual water. A ball is in casual water when it lies in or any part of it touches the casual water. Okay, I think you get my point.


Fourth hole, looking back to the tee. Three wood off the tee clears the water. Normally this area has no water at all!

Roundel Glen experienced flooding from three days of hard rain. Over 20% of the course was under water and an additional 30% was extremely soggy. The amount of water on the course almost made it unplayable. However, that was not the case and I am grateful to have hit the links today.


Walking between the 12th and 13th hole!

The water posed many challenges. There was no extra roll on any shots (so most of us were 20 yards shorter off the tee!), all approach shots were from soggy ground which resulted in deep divots, and the ball plugged on most shots. Lift, clean, and place was definitely an asset today.

Rule 25-1 allowed us to move the ball to dry-ish ground. Sometimes the nearest point of relief was 30 yards from where the ball came to rest. The difficulty, in some cases, was to find relief without going closer to the hole. Regardless, we were able to find relief and play a great round.

A couple other challenges  included the temperature at tee off time. It was a nippy 6 degrees Celsius (43 degrees F). It did warm up on the back nine, but four layers of clothing was required initially. The cold weather turned our golf balls to rocks so carry was a challenge. Finally, it took longer to loosen up during the round than normal! Overall, many difficulties were faced today, but regardless of their impact on our games, we had a great time and are looking forward to playing again on Sunday!

IMG_20140517_082721A couple highlights: On the 7th hole, I found myself behind a tree. It was the most interesting shot of the day. Keeping in mind that the tree was directly in front of my ball, I also had to consider the soft ground, wet soggy landing area, and a quick sloping green. Drawing my 7 iron, I kept the ball low and did not worry about the pin (which was behind the tree). After two hops, my ball landed on the green and rolled 10 feet past the pin. Unfortunately, I missed my par putt, but was happy to walk away with a bogey.

IMG_20140517_085818Another interesting thing about my round happened on the 11th hole. Teeing off, I was quite happy to see the ball head towards the center of the green. Walking up to where my ball landed, I was confused not to see it on the short grass. After about a minute, one of the grounds keepers came over and said that my ball landed about 5 yards short of the post, skipped once, hit the post and fell into the water. Slightly dismayed, I stuck my arm in the hole to retrieve my ball. Thinking it was only a couple of inches deep, I quickly found out something different! I would never have found my ball without the help of the greens keeper.  Thanks Buddy, I appreciate the help!

Rule 25-1 was a major player in today’s round and despite the wet conditions, I had a great time today! The company was awesome; the wet adventure fun; and I learned many things that will help in the future!

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!


11 thoughts on “Casual Water?

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  4. Jim

    The last picture looks like you are searching for loose change – if you need a boost for a coffee just shout!

    Even with all of the rain and wet conditions, it sounds like you had a good day.

    A bad day at the course beats a frozen mukluk in the head any day!!

    BTW Sunny and 25 degrees here – no requirement for lift, clean and place…..



  5. Jim, seems like a situation could arise on your 4th hole where a drive could end up in the center of the casual water. Assuming you don’t go looking for your ball in the new “artificial pond” even though you saw it splash, you’d need to declare it lost. Is the rule the same for a ball lost in casual water; stroke and distance? Thanks! Brian


    • Brian

      Great question. If I am playing with my buds, I would treat the whole situation like casual water. Find a dry place to and lets play on. In a competition, that would be different.

      To put it in context, the fourth hole has no hazards or out of bounds makers near the landing area. This is very important to my ruling. Assuming the player cannot retrieve their ball because we could not find it or the water was too deep, but we were 100% confident it went into the temporary lake (as in image above) So, here is what I would do: I would make the player play two balls.

      First ball like casual water. Find a dry place to play, no closer to the hole and in the same general conditions. Play this ball and keep the score. In this scenario, there are no penalty stokes.

      Second ball, I would ask the player to rehit as if the ball is lost. Three off the tee. The player would play this out and determine the score…so stroke and distance would apply.

      We would go into the clubhouse, talk to the rules official (which is usually the club pro in most local tournaments) and ask for a ruling. Whatever he decides, I am good with.

      What do you think Brian?



      • Brian

        You are correct. But the qualifying factor is that there is no doubt the ball is in the abnormal ground condition. These discussions are great for everyone’s understanding of the game! Thanks for making me think.



    • Hey Pete

      We really had no choice. I have played in a tournament where lift clean and drop was used and personally did not benefit. Yesterday, it made the round more enjoyable, but I did not score well (81). We shall see what today holds!



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