Out of Bounds & Penalty Areas: Balls hit Out of Bounds (Marked by White Stakes) or into a penalty area, your ball can be played as it lies or take relief outside the penalty area for one penalty stroke. You can play from where your last stroke was made (stroke and distance) or take back-on-the-line relief by going back as far as you'd like on the line between the hole and where your ball last crossed the edge of the penalty area. In a red penalty area, you have one additional relief option, which is to take lateral relief within two club-lengths of where your ball crossed into the penalty area. You must be reasonably certain that your ball entered the Out of Bounds or penalty area before playing it as such. Penalty of one stroke. In the absence of a line or stakes, margin will be determined by the mow line.
Penalty Area: When a ball is hit into the penalty area (Yellow Stakes) or Environmentally Sensitive Areas (Red Stakes with Green Tips) the next shot may be placed in the designated drop zone area. Penalty of one stroke. Tierra Verde - #4, #10, #11, #14, #18 all have designated drop zones. In addition, any tee box with a rough area in front (#2, #7, #8, #11) you may drop on the other side, incurring a one stroke penalty. Look for temporary tee boxes at Tierra Verde (Holes #12 & #13 across the hazards); everyone will play from the temporary tee boxes. Lake Arlington #7, drain under cart path is NOT a HAZARD. Texas Rangers - (no exceptions as of 2019)
Environmentally sensitive areas are marked with Red Stakes with Green Tops and red lines. These areas will be played as penalty areas. In order to exercise the option of playing the ball as it lies in the penalty area, you must be able to identify your ball from outside the penalty area. Otherwise, play is prohibited from these areas. In the absence of a line and/or stakes, the margin of the penalty area will be determined by the mow line. Lake Arlington Holes #3, #14, #15, #16, #17 signs mark the ESA areas.
All Stakes are deemed to be Immovable Obstructions. This is a “USGA Approved Local Rule” in order to avoid pulling up stakes and thereby loosening their position in the ground even if you replace them. Under USGA Rule 16.1, Abnormal Course Conditions (Including Immovable Obstructions), a player will have relief from stake interference with stance or area of intended swing. There is no free relief from an abnormal course condition when the abnormal course condition is out of bounds or your ball is in a penalty area. (Note: In any area marked off with white ropes and stakes by the golf course, you should take free relief under USGA Rule 16.1, Abnormal Course Conditions.)
Ball Movement: A ball lying in the General Area may be lifted and cleaned without penalty and placed within 1 grip length of where it originally lay, no closer to the hole. (Beginning in 2023, Lift Clean & Place is only allowed through the green-meaning it must be in the fairway) This relief is not intended to improve your stance or your line to the hole and should stay in a "like position". Lift, Clean & Place does not apply when in a penalty area. Putts must be holed out. No gimmee’s.
Ant Beds, Hills or Mounds: You may have free relief from an ant bed, hill or mound by dropping a ball on the nearest area which avoids the danger, no closer to the hole.
Relief from Cart Paths that interfere with dropping the ball within one club length from a lateral water hazard under Rule 16.1a: If you are taking relief from a penalty area and there is not enough room to drop within two club lengths of the margin because of cart path interference, you may drop on the fairway within one club length from your nearest relief. Note: Railroad ties, penalty stakes and lines are part of the penalty area. Therefore, you cannot take free “immovable obstruction relief” if your ball touches or lies in a penalty area.
Rocky Areas in Rough: When your ball lies on the rocks in the rough, you may find the nearest rock free surface, no closer to the hole (not necessarily on grass) and place your ball there with no penalty. This relief is to protect your club, not improve your lie or line to the hole.
If you are unsure of a ruling, play a second ball (be sure to inform your fellow competitors you are doing so), record both scores and check with the Rules Committee at the completion of play. Take a photo!