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Where's that Rules guy!?
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dconnally
Where's that Rules guy!?

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Monday July 20, 2020 11:11 AM
Played at Cross Creek last weekend in the GK Cup. First time I've been back there since a GK Plays in 2016, so 4 years.

Lots of rules changes since then. I'm not as up-to-date as I probably need to be on all the changes.

I seem to recall a recent change in how penalty areas are defined - they are no longer 'hazards'; and all are treated the same - no more red versus yellow stakes with different approaches.

Is that right?

At CCGC last weekend, I saw many RED stakes along some fairways. On #17, along the creek fronting the green, the 'penalty area' was marked with YELLOW stakes.

Is this just because the course ran out of red stakes and used some of the older yellow ones?

Or is there still a difference between the types of penalty areas?


A Rules Inquirer
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 Message #95761
JonBlack
RE: Where's that Rules guy!?
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Monday July 20, 2020 4:50 PM
The penalty area is treated the same irrespective of the yellow or red stakes. The distinction between hazards is gone.

Lots of courses still have their "traditional" stakes with red and yellow flavors and probably will until the yellow ones are due for a new touch of spray paint. Treat them all the same.
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kassper7
RE: Where's that Rules guy!?
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Monday July 20, 2020 5:02 PM
my understanding is different - from the USGA:

A.When you take relief from a penalty area, you get one penalty stroke. For yellow penalty areas, you have two relief options. For red penalty areas, you have three relief options (the same two relief options as you do for yellow, plus one additional option.) For a yellow penalty area, you may take relief by dropping into a relief area using (1) the spot at which your last stroke was made under stroke and distance (see Rule 17.1d(1)) or (2) the back-on-the-line relief procedure (see Rule 17.1d(2)). For a red penalty area, you have the two options above for a yellow penalty area, plus an additional option to take lateral relief. Lateral relief allows you to drop a ball into a relief area measured from where your ball last crossed the edge of red penalty area. From that reference point, you are allowed to drop outside the penalty area and anywhere within two club-lengths of that spot, no nearer to the hole (see Rule 17.1d(3)).

I always think of the island green at TPC sawgrass for a yellow staked situation. Even if you land on the green and roll off any direction, you have to go to the drop area or re-hit. You don't have the option of dropping around the green as you would with a red stake. You lose the lateral drop option that we all mostly use.

As usual, I could be wrong.

[[Edited by kassper7 on Monday July 20, 2020 5:03 PM]]
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Nickesquire
RE: Where's that Rules guy!?
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Monday July 20, 2020 5:06 PM
I think there is a great distinction between yellow and red staked hazards. Yellow relief is usually much more punitive to the golfer. Found this online, it explains the "new" rules.

By Brent Kelley
Updated June 02, 2019
Before explaining what yellow stakes and lines on a golf course mean, let's start by explaining what they used to mean: These yellow indicators (usually one or the other, but sometimes both) were used to designate a water hazard. (Lateral water hazards were marked by red stakes/lines.)


Beginning in 2019, with the Rules of Golf edition that went into effect that year, the terms "hazard," "water hazard" and "lateral water hazard" were dropped. Today, the term "penalty area" is used instead, and has a slightly more expansive meaning than "water hazard." A golf course committee can choose, for example, to designate "deserts, jungles, lava rock fields, etc." (in the words of the USGA) as penalty areas.


So if you see yellow stakes or yellow lines on a golf course now, they designate a yellow penalty area: a place from which you can attempt to play your golf ball, if, in fact, it appears playable, but from which you'll most likely have to take a drop and apply a penalty stroke.

Yellow Penalty Areas Are Now Covered in Rule 17
Prior to 2019, water hazards, designated by yellow stakes or lines, were covered under Rule 26 in the Rules of Golf. Today, under the new, condensed rules, yellow penalty areas are covered under Rule 17.


We'll discuss the options that rule provides in the following text, but for the full explanations you can check out the rule book in two versions:


Options When Your Ball Lands in a Yellow Penalty Area
Oops, you hit your golf ball into an area marked by yellow stakes or yellow lines. That means your ball is inside a yellow penalty area. Now what?

The golfer always has the option to play a stroke from within the penalty area. But if your ball is in water, or you'd have to stand in water, or your ball is under water or otherwise in a very bad place, attempting to play it out is probably a bad idea.

And that most likely means you'll be applying a penalty stroke and taking relief. That means dropping the ball outside of the area marked by yellow stakes/yellow lines.

There are two options for relief from a yellow penalty area, both coming with a penalty of one stroke. The first of those is to go back to the place from which you played the original stroke and drop a ball into a one-club-length relief area no nearer the hole. (Be sure to read the pertinent section of the rule book, linked above, for the full details.) This option is called stroke-and-distance relief.

The second option is called back-on-the-line relief. This means identifying the spot at which your ball crossed into the yellow penalty area, then imagining a straight line drawn from the hole on the putting green back to that spot. You can walk back on that line as far as you wish before dropping within a one-club-length relief area.

Yellow Stakes and Lines Might Become Less-Common
A provision in the new penalty-area version of the Rules of Golf might make yellow stakes/yellow lines a less common sight than in previous years. That's because the R&A and USGA have given golf courses the option to designate all penalty areas as red penalty areas.

What's the point of that? A red penalty area gives golfers an additional option for relief: lateral relief. That means dropping to the side of the penalty area, if such an option exists on the golf course. (Some lakes or other penalty areas will be too large to provide a lateral option.)

This provision, the governing bodies explained, is intended to help pace of play. It is quicker to drop within two club lengths of where a ball crossed the margin of the penalty area than it is to walk back on the line or take stroke-and-distance. However, it is up to golf courses and Committees to make the determination whether to switch a previously identified yellow water hazard to a red penalty area.

[[Edited by Nickesquire on Monday July 20, 2020 7:40 PM]]
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The goal has always been long and straight! But since I can no longer hit them long, hopefully straighter could be achieved more than occasionally?
 Message #95776 - This was a reply to message #95775
dconnally
RE: Where's that Rules guy!?

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Monday July 20, 2020 5:28 PM
Ok, so with the variety of responses here I'd like additional discussion/clarification.

JonBlack's explanation above appears pretty definitive, but the others are more situational.

What's the best way to get more info/discussion about this?
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RDDenn
RE: Where's that Rules guy!?

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Monday July 20, 2020 6:07 PM
I thought I saw both red and yellow stakes at that hazard on #17. Basically the same type of hazard as on the other par 3 on the back to my recollection, yet the earlier par 3 did not have yellow stakes. The configuration on 17 was such also that there would have been no realistic "yellow stake" option to drop except for a steep downhill stretch where the ball entered the hazard. There was more hazard on the right so going back in a line from entry and the flag, considering the front left pin position, did not look like a real option unless the ball entered the hazard on the left side. Kind of bizarre.

I also have a vague recollection that they changed the rule but it is so rare for me to see a yellow staked water hazard, that it has not come up in my experience.
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JonBlack
RE: Where's that Rules guy!?
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Monday July 20, 2020 11:58 PM
https://golfrules.com/2017/10/02/new-rules-of-golf-in-2019-part-17-wate r-hazards/

It appears I was wrong. Courses may treat everything as red, but there is a still a yellow penalty area with a distinct form of relief from a red penalty area (no 2 club length drop.)

https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules/rules-2019/rules-of-g olf/rule-17.html

USGA is as good a source as we're going to get.

All apologies for the bad info. Glad you asked- I could have made a mess of this at the wrong time.
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Nickesquire
RE: Where's that Rules guy!?
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Tuesday July 21, 2020 7:29 AM
Nothing scientific about this, but this assists me in keeping straight the traditional differences in the colored hazard stakes. The lighter color the hazard stake, the worse the ACTUAL penalty is to my scorecard.


Red: Penalty stroke and anywhere from no to some distance lost.

Yellow: Penalty stroke and anywhere from no to a lot of distance lost. Could be no worse than Red or as severe as White, usually somewhere in between.

White: Penalty stroke and all distance lost.


The practical application for a bogey golfer if properly assessing the distance penalties in addition to the penalty stroke was that:

Red stakes usually ended up costing 1 shot.

Yellow stakes probably averaged closer to 1.5 shots lost by the time you added in a penalty plus the usually longer shot to make up the distance lost.

White stakes are in effect a loss of 2 shots because of the penalty and the next shot to get you back to where you would have been but for the OB.
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The goal has always been long and straight! But since I can no longer hit them long, hopefully straighter could be achieved more than occasionally?
 Message #95782 - This was a reply to message #95779

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