The first one I am going to cover is Rule :
"26-1. Relief for Ball in Water HazardIt is a question of fact whether a ball that has not been found after having been struck toward a water hazard is in the hazard. In the absence of knowledge or virtual certainty that a ball struck toward a water hazard, but not found, is in the hazard, the player must proceed under Rule 27-1.
If a ball is found in a water hazard or if it is known or virtually certain that a ball that has not been found is in the water hazard (whether the ball lies in water or not), the player may under penalty of one stroke:
a. Proceed under the stroke and distance provision of Rule 27-1 by playing a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played (see Rule 20-5); or
b. Drop a ball behind the water hazard, keeping the point at which the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind the water hazard the ball may be dropped; or
c. As additional options available only if the ball last crossed the margin of a lateral water hazard, drop a ball outside the water hazard within two club-lengths of and not nearer the hole than (i) the point where the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard or (ii) a point on the opposite margin of the water hazard equidistant from the hole.
When proceeding under this Rule, the player may lift and clean his ball or substitute a ball. "
This one presented itself during my last PGA professional tournament. I had a dog leg left off the T-box and hit my drive through the right side of fairway, hit the cart path and bolted into the creek that was clearly marked with red stake and red line next to the cart path.
Most golfers when they have this happen during normal play, even if they understand that you get 2 club lengths (Rule 26-1 c above) from where the ball entered the hazard, they take the drop from the other side of the cart path.
The ruling is as follows as presenting by the PGA OFFICIAL during the tournament: The hazard line was two inches from the cart path, I placed my tee at point of entry into the hazard, used my driver for two club length no closer to hole. I was still on the middle of the cart path no matter which direction. Therefore, I placed a tee on the spot of my two club length, dropped the ball in between the two markers on the cart path. I dropped twice and each time the ball bounced back into the hazard or closer to the hole. For the third attempt placed marker where the ball dropped second time, then marked nearest relief from cart path taking stance with club that I was going to use for next shot. I then proceeded with one club length relief marking the spot and then dropping ball between the markers. The official deemed ball in play, I gave myself a one stroke penalty for hitting into the lateral hazard and moved on.
I know this was a lengthy ruling, but this is how this should be played by the rules.
Keep watching my blog for my next Rule of Golf.
Until then, remember the game of golf is a gentleman's game and is the only sport I know of where you call the penalties on yourself.....