How to determine if I am in a Water Hazard or Lateral Water Hazard?
This would seem to be fairly simple, however, and it is to some degree.
When the margin of a water hazard or lateral water hazard is defined by stakes, the stakes
are inside the lateral water hazard, and the margin of the hazard is defined by the nearest outside points of the stakes at ground level. When both stakes and lines are used to indicate a water hazard or lateral water hazard, the stakes identify the hazard and the lines define the hazard margin. When the margin of a water hazard or lateral water hazard is defined by a line on the ground, the line itself is in the lateral water hazard. The margin of a water hazard or lateral water hazard extends vertically upwards and downwards.
By using the above definition, then on the diagrams below the only ball which is NOT in a water hazard or lateral water hazard are the ones at the very bottom of the pictures (this is because in all other cases part of the ball is over the margin)
Note: this means wide red broken lines on the cart paths on some holes is a part of the Lateral Water Hazard. Some suggest that the committee should have a local rule - unfortunately, as per Rule 33-1 The Committee, states " . . . . . . . .The committee has no power to waive a Rule of Golf"
In the diagram, a player has played a ball from the teeing ground (Point A) into the lateral water hazard at Point B. It last crossed the margin of the hazard at Point C. He may play the ball as it lies or, under penalty of one stroke:
(a) play another ball from the teeing ground – Rule 26-1a;
(b) drop a ball anywhere on the far side of the hazard on the dotted line from the hole through Point C, e.g. Point D – Rule 26-1b;
(c) drop a ball in the shaded area on the near side of the hazard which is all ground within two club-lengths of Point C, but not nearer the hole than Point C – Rule 26-1c(i); or
(d) drop a ball in the shaded area on the far side of the hazard which is all ground within two club-lengths of Point E, but not nearer the hole than Point E – Rule 26-1c(ii).
The player may not drop a ball on the so-called “line-of-flight” at Point F or anywhere else on the line the ball followed from A to B, except in the shaded area on the near side. Nor may he drop a ball within two club-lengths of Point G, the point on the far side of the hazard directly opposite Point C.
Example Hole 4 at New Kuta Golf - in this case if a player hits a ball so far of the tee straight down the fairway - he and his fellow competitors will not be able to see where it entered the Water Hazard in this case when the ball & the ball was found at point Y - following the direction it was ascertained/agreed by the fellow competitors that the ball was most likely to have entered the hazard at point X.