Q. My ball landed on the putting green side of a pond in front of the green, but rolled back into the pond. Where do I drop a ball to play my next stroke?
A. The answer depends on the type of hazard the ball rolled into. Under penalty of one stroke, if the ball entered into a water hazard, (yellow stakes and/or lines) or a lateral water hazard (red stakes and/or lines), the player may play a ball from as near as possible to where the original was last played (Rule 26-1a), or drop a ball behind the hazard keeping the point where the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard between himself and the hole (Rule 26-1b). Under this option, the player must drop the ball behind the water hazard (see Decision 26-1/1.5). An additional option available only for a ball in a lateral water hazard is to drop the ball within two club-lengths of the point where the ball last crossed the margin of the lateral water hazard or a point equidistant from the hole on the opposite margin of the hazard from where the ball last crossed into the hazard. However, it may not be dropped nearer the hole. If the player can drop the ball meeting the conditions of this last option, it may be dropped on the putting green side of the water hazard. Decision 26-1/15 illustrates the options under this Rule.