Differences Between Hazard and Out of Bounds


In golf it would be nice if everything worked out perfectly in the way the player had in mind. However, that is most definitely not the case, as more often than not there is something wrong with the golfer’s play. Hazards and out of bounds can come into play. Penalty strokes can be assessed as a result of hitting the ball in a hazard at a North Myrtle Beach golf course or hitting a ball out of bounds. Many polished players can recognize the difference between a hazard and out of bounds; however, others may not be able to recognize the difference. The differences between these two are key to playing the game of golf properly at Eagle Nest Golf Club and every other North Myrtle Beach golf course.

If you hit your golf ball into the hazard, then you drop it at the cost of a stroke. There are two kinds of hazards: a regular hazard and a lateral hazard. When a player strikes the ball in a hazard, the player must drop the ball within two club lengths behind the hazard from where the ball crossed the hazard line (or, in the case of a lateral hazard, within two club lengths of the point where the ball crossed hazard line, no closer to the hole). Then, the player must take a one-stroke penalty and play the ball from there. The option exists to play the ball from the hazard without taking a penalty stroke; however, balls often cannot be found in hazards (most often water hazards) and the club cannot be grounded in a hazard. Regular hazards are marked by yellow paint and lateral hazards are marked by red paint.

If a golfer hits their ball out of bounds, the golfer must return to the location from where the previous shot was hit (at the cost of a stroke). Unlike hazards, there is only one sort of out of bounds, as out of bounds often marks the course’s property lines and/or the boundaries of the golf course. When a player’s ball goes out of bounds, the player only has one option: to hit the ball from where the previous shot was hit, at the cost of a stroke. This contrasts with the multiple options a player has when they hit the ball in a hazard; therefore, it is generally more favorable to hit the ball in a hazard than out of bounds (neither is good, of course).

When a ball is suspected to be out of bounds, a “provisional ball” can be played from where the previous shot was hit. If the first ball is not found in play, the player must assess his one-stroke penalty and play the provisional ball. If the first ball is found in play, the provisional ball is immediately declared out of play. Out of bounds is marked by white paint. The differences between hazards and out of bounds are key to playing golf properly.