Due to settling of newly turfed drainage lines players may obtain relief on these holes from any significant damage to the surface.
Interference occurs when a ball lies in or touches a crack or low spot in the drainage lines. There is no relief from interference if only the players stance touches the condition. If interference exists, the player may either play the ball as it lies or take relief under Rule 25-1 sd follows:
The player shall lift the ball and drop it without penalty within one club-length of the point that
- is not nearer the hole
- avoids interference by the conditition
- is not in a hazard or on a putting green
The ball may be cleaned when lifted and dropped
Clarification as to the status of wooden bridges crossing the ditches and the pond on the 5th Hole
How should you treat the bridges that cross the open ditches and pond on the 5th hole?. Are they are part of the hazard or is the player entitled to a free drop if the bridge (in the Rules of Golf a bridge is an immovable obstruction because it is artificial) interferes with their stance or swing. The following points should answer any misunderstanding of the Rules of Golf:
- All open ditches are lateral water hazards (marked with red posts) and some ponds are water hazards (marked with yellow posts)
- Because the posts may be far apart in places, players must use their own judgement as t the margins of the hazard by imagining a straight line between the posts they can see
- Any part of a bridge that falls inside the margin of the hazard is deemed to be in the hazard
If a ball is in a water hazard or a lateral water hazard, the player is not entitled to relief without penalty from interference by an immovable obstruction (i.e. bridges). The player shall play the ball as it lies or proceed under Rule 26-1. In the Official Decision on The Rules of Golf – Rule 13/4/30 states:
Q. A players ball lies on a bridge over a water hazard within the margins of the hazard when extended upwards. May the player ground his club?
A. Yes. A bridge is an obstruction. In a hazard, the club may touch an obstruction at address or in the backward movement for the stroke – see Note under Rule 13-4. Touching the bridge prior to address is also permissible, since an obstruction in a water hazard is not ‘ground in the hazard’. This applies even if the bridge has been declared an integral part of the course
To Summarise: If your ball lies on a bridge that is within the margins of a water hazard you may play it as it lies and ground your club on the bridge at address and in playing the stroke OR Drop the ball out of the hazard with a penalty shot under Rule 26-1