GOLF RULE FOR THE WEEK:
Stance inside Water Hazard
A player’s ball comes to rest just outside of the margin of a water hazard. May the player take part of their stance inside the hazard?
A player drops their ball under the Rules and it rolls very close to the margin of a water hazard, so that the player would have to take part of their stance inside the hazard to make their stroke. May they re-drop their ball in this circumstance?
No, they must play the ball as it lies.
Note: There is nothing in the Rules of Golf that permits a player to take relief just because his stance is inside the margin of a water hazard. In this respect Rule 26-1, Relief for Ball in Water Hazard, is different from Rule 24-2b, Relief from Immovable Obstruction and Rule 25-1b, Relief from Abnormal Ground Conditions, in that there is no mention of interference.
A player’s ball comes to rest in shallow water inside the margin of a water hazard.
May the player take part of their stance in the water to play their ball and may they remove their shoes and socks to do so?
Yes. There is nothing in the Rules that prevents players from taking their stance in water and they may remove their shoes and socks to do so.
May the player improve their stance in the water by kicking away several stones, so that they do not have to stand on them in bare feet?
No. Stones are loose impediments, which may not be moved when they and the ball lie in or touch the same hazard, Rule 23-1. Penalty: two strokes in stroke play or loss of hole in match play.