More Than Just a Water Hazard!

Water on any golf course provides untold challenges. A pond can lie between the tee box and the green on a par three, there are the famous island greens, or water can follow you down the fair way like a lion stalking its prey! Water evokes fear in most amateurs, which ultimately affects their golf game.

Glen Abbey Golf Course, Oakville, Ontario

Tough shot over water to green at Glen Abbey Golf Course!

Hitting your ball into the water is frustrating and does cost a player strokes. However, what is more frustrating is being award more penalty strokes or hitting the ball out of a tough lie for not understanding the drop rule related to a water hazard.

Red and Yellow stakes are often confused. Most amateurs who do not understand the rules and drop the ball within 2 club lengths of their point of entry into the hazard and then just carry on. They often ask the question about the number of penalty stokes they must count and sometimes ‘forget’ the penalty all together. For the weekend golfer who does not really care that much about their score, it really does not matter. But for those who want to play in competition; the video below by is for you!

So not that we have demystified the Red and Yellow stakes issue. We can confidently remove the fear of all water hazards. One last tip, the best way to make sure avoid the red/yellow stake rule for a water hazard….do not hit your ball into the water!

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

11 thoughts on “More Than Just a Water Hazard!

  1. Jim

    Good post. Knowing the rules, particularly a common one like how to properly drop from red versus yellow stakes, definitely diminishes fear. There are enough things to deal with on the golf course, fear of not knowing how to properly drop if the occasion arises (especially in a tournament) shouldn’t be one of them!



  2. Oh, the mysteries of the USGA and the complexity of water hazard decision making. You did a good job discussing the point!

    The guy in the Rules video is a fellow Philly PGA Section member of mine, Tom Carpus. He is THE source for any pro in our area to call with a Rules question. Especially during a Club Championship….


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