Temporary Water in the General Area

The standard procedure when you are in a puddle in the General Area is to find your nearest point of complete relief within the general area which is not nearer the hole than where your ball is, and then to drop within 1 club length of (and again not nearer the hole than) that point.

There is no option for the point of “maximum” relief in the general area – it must be complete relief. This can be a problem on soggy winter courses with waterlogged fairways and your only reasonable option might be to place within 6 inches (hopefully “winter rules” in play) and play it as best you can.

If it is a big dirty puddle and you don’t actually need to find your ball in it if it is known or virtually certain that it’s in the puddle – in this case the point you use to find your nearest point of relief is where you estimate it last crossed in to that puddle. (Also use this point if you rake your ball out of a dirty puddle so you have found it, but you do not know exactly where it was).

Also note that within the general area, relief is only available for lie, stance, and area of intended swing – not for line of play. So if you are close to the green and thinking of putting but there is a puddle in the way you may need to choose a different type of shot. This is also true if the puddle that is on your line of play is on the green – the relief allowable depends on where your ball is – not where the puddle is.

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