Course Elements: Other Challenges


hazardA hazard is a penalizing area on a golf course that provides golfers with additional sets of challenges as well as special rules for how to perform a shot from within. It can take the form of either a water hazard (lake, river, pond, etc.) or a made-man hazard (bunkers).

Out of Bounds | OOB

hazard-out-of-boundsAn area defined as out of bounds is one that is considered to be located outside of a golf hole, and in effect outside of the entire golf course. Its initialism – OOB – is often used. Such an area will be clearly identified through white stakes – or white paint – affixed or applied to its boundaries.

It should be so clearly identified because of the devastating consequence to a golfer’s score if his ball were to come to rest within its limits. Indeed, if a ball ends its run inside of an out a bounds, the golfer who sent it there will be unable to play it at all for his next shot. The rules of golf has special provisions regarding the procedures to adopt then, one of which options is to hit again from the original spot at the cost of a penalty stroke.

Water Hazard

hazard-waterAn area defined as a water hazard is one that contains water. When situated on a golf course lakes, ponds, creeks, rivers, etc. can be defined as water hazards. Such areas will be clearly delimited by yellow stakes – or paint – affixed or applied to its boundaries. There are special rules that apply which will guide a golfer’s procedure for his next shot following one that ends its run inside one.

Lateral Water Hazard

hazard-lateral-waterLike a water hazard proper, an area defined as a lateral water hazard is one that contains water. However, the procedure that a golfer is to follow if he hits his ball into one will be different and generally less penalizing for the lateral variety. Such areas will be clearly delimited by red stakes – or paint – affixed or applied to its boundaries.

The default variety of a body of water is the water hazard proper. In other words, if there are no indications given to a golfer through the use of stakes or paint, he is to assume that it is a water hazard proper and not the lateral variety.

Ground Under Repair | GUR

hazard-ground-under-repairThe term “ground under repair” refers to a relatively small area on the golf course from where hitting a ball is prohibited but from which a golfer can take relief without penalty. Its initialism – GUR – is also freely used. Such an area will be clearly delimited by white paint or white stakes that will encircle the area in question.

What constitutes a Ground Under Repair?

In order to be considered as such, an area will first have to be declared thusly by the superintendent or the committee. This will happen whenever a portion of the course is temporarily altered in such a way as to be unfairly penalizing to a golfer for an upcoming shot. In addition to being temporary, such an area will not offer the conditions envisioned by the architect or green committee. Concretely, soil that was dug up by the course crew for maintenance work would be considered GUR, for example.

How to proceed when a ball comes to rest inside a GUR?

According to the rules of golf, if a ball has come to rest within a ground under repair the player is to remove his ball and place it outside without incurring penalty through strokes or otherwise.