I will explain, in the coming weeks, the different ways to proceed when one’s ball can be played elsewhere than where it lies.
A LITTLE VOCABULARY
We must forget the two old terms of “casual water” and “water hazards.” We must now use the terms TEMPORARY WATER and PENALTY AREAS.
SOME NOTIONS ON THE RULE OF TEMPORARY WATER
When temporary water affects the position of the ball or our stance, we may take relief without penalty. Except in a bunker, one must take complete relief. This means that you must not see any water around the ball before or after taking your stance after taking relief..
A) Penalty area
There is no relief, without penalty, from temporary water in a penalty area.
It is possible to get relief from temporary water in a bunker without penalty, provided that you drop within the bunker.
If there is too much water in the bunker, the player may drop outside the bunker but must incur a penalty stroke.
Given this restriction, a player may not necessarily play from a dry area, but he/she may find a point of maximum available relief. This point may be where the ball will be in swallower water. He/she then drops a ball in the relief area (one club-length) not closer to the hole.
C) On the green
In addition to the usual options, on the green one also has the right to have no temporary water on the line of putt. If there is temporary water between the position of our ball and the hole, we may take relief without penalty.
However, if the ball lies on the fringe of the green (off the green) and temporary water comes in play between the ball position and the hole, we do not have the option of taking relief without penalty.
It is forbidden to remove temporary water whether with a towel or with a club: the penalty is the general penalty (2 strokes or loss of hole).