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What is "Casual Water" and how do you take relief?

What is “Casual Water” and how do you take relief?

What is “Casual Water,” and how do you take relief?

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

I was recently giving a playing lesson.  And as most of you know, we have had a lot of rain in South Carolina recently.  My ball landed in a puddle, and I walked up and moved it to a dry spot.  My student questioned my ethics and said it did not seem fair that I was entitled to move my ball from soggy ground, which was a more difficult shot to dry ground.  Making the shot a whole lot easier.  I  had to explain “Casual Water Rule.” And this is what prompted me to repost this great article by Le Ann Finger’s writing for the  EWGA (Executive Women’s Golf Association) So; for those of you unfamiliar with the term “casual water’ read on so you know what to do in the future!

You could encounter three types of water while playing golf – direct water hazards, lateral water hazards, and casual water. 

If you play golf in an area of the country that is subject to heavy rainfall (or even rain from tropical storms/hurricanes) you may encounter casual water on the golf course.

What is "Casual Water" and how do you take relief?

A bunker filled with water is deemed to be “casual water.”

So how do you determine what is casual water?  The USGA Rule of Golf states, “Casual water is any temporary accumulation of water on the course that is not in a water hazard and is visible before or after the player takes his/her stance.”  It’s important to note that snow and natural ice are either casual water or loose impediments at the option of the player.  (Note:  Dew and frost are NOT considered casual water and manufactured ice is an obstruction.)

Casual water may be the temporary puddling of water in low spots on the golf course or putting green.

Water that hasn’t drained properly from a recent heavy rainfall, or perhaps a broken sprinkler head from the course irrigation system.

Casual water must be identifiable before or after you take your stance.  You may hear or feel soggy or mushy ground when you walk to your ball.  But that itself is not casual water.  There must be visible water above ground.  However, once you take your stance and in doing so causes water to come up from the ground around your shoes, that is casual water.

Once you have water on your shoes, how do you proceed? 

Under Rule 25, you can consider casual water as abnormal ground conditions.  And if you feel your ball is in casual water or the water interferes with your stance, you may take relief in one of the following manners.

1) Through the Green – (this is anywhere on the course except a hazard, tee or green).  You may lift and drop the ball within one club-length of the casual water, not nearer to the hole and without a penalty.

To see how to take relief from bunkers, putting green or teeing ground, go here!

Source: Le Ann Finger  EWGA

Pictures: EWGA   John Haslam

Thanks for reading  What is “Casual Water,” and how do you take relief?

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