The 4th is another tactical hole but perhaps its main feature is the green – hit it onto the left half with the hole on the right (or vice versa) and a 3 putt might be a good result. As driving distances have grown with modern technology you need to hit a fade or hug the trees on the right hand side which brings the Out of Bounds and the ditch on this side very much into play.
The Out of Bounds line here is defined by white stakes, and whenever stakes are used in this manner “the boundary edge is defined by the line between the course-side points of the stakes at ground level”. For this reason the out-of-bounds line does not follow the natural edge of the ditch – you can be Out of Bounds but not in the ditch and in another area in the ditch but still within bounds. See the video for a couple of illustrations.
A similar situation exists on the right of the 2nd hole, but it is more commonly experienced at the corner of the dogleg here on the fourth.
If you find your ball in the ditch but in bounds then you have all the options for a Red Penalty Area from Rule 17.1d :
- lateral relief – 2 club lengths from point of entry
- back-on-the-line – 1 club length from reference point
- stroke and distance
- Please note that you can not play your provisional ball!