17 golf rules you definitely need to know when playing in a tournament

The difference between water and lateral hazards

A water hazard is marked in yellow, lateral in red. If you aren’t going to attempt to play from the hazard — and unless you have a clean shot, we advise you don’t — you are facing a one-shot penalty.

For a water hazard, a player has three options:

  • Go to the designated drop area (not all hazards have this).

  • Identify where your ball last crossed the water hazard, then drop as far back as you want from that spot and the pin.

  • Play your next shot by dropping a ball nearest to the point where your last stroke was played. You can re-tee if it was your first shot.

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A lateral hazard is slightly different. Like with yellow stakes, you have to identify where the ball crossed into the hazard. However, you are given a two clubs length area to drop. You can also go on the other side of the hazard — assuming no closer to the hole — and drop there as well.

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