June 5, 2023
Yellow & Red Stakes Explained
CHOCOWINITY, NC — The Carl Spackler Open has been a 72-hole amateur golf event held for 22 years in 15 different states with 410 different players. It is a 4-day handicapped golf competition with players posting scorecards from local play throughout the year.
The 21-year old Captains Club was proposed an option to increase simplicity at future Carl Spackler Open events. Rid itself of competition. The 2022 proposal would eliminate golf rules, posting scorecards for handicapping, some awards, tournament tees, and time required to score its event.
“Our event has always been an individual golf competition, which quite frankly is a huge effort from 80+ golfers and volunteers,” said Chairman of the Captains Club Greg Long. "I proposed letting everyone tee where they want, play golf however they wish, and enjoy themselves. The proposal would simplify the event substantially for everyone involved.”
The Captains Club dismissed that proposal. The club voted unanimously for the Carl Spackler Open to remain a competitive handicapped golf tournament. The Carl Spackler Open now begins its transformation that includes engaged participants who want to participate in a competitive golf tournament.
In this series of news articles, we are going to explain our six basic golf rules in the simpliest form. This article, White Stakes, will define OUT OF BOUNDS. We also will provide the penalty.
Let’s begin. Golf courses use colored stakes and sometimes colored lines to mark penalty area. The Carl Spackler Open plays both yellow stakes and red stakes identically for rule simplicity.
"The original purpose of both red and yellow stakes were to mark water and lateral hazards," says Jason Ridgeway. "The golf industry has made a collective decision to speed up golf. Golf courses started lining trees, weeds, and desert with red stakes in an effort to speed up play. The red stakes no longer line water hazards, but cover much more ground. The USGA relabeled the red hazard to ‘penalty areas’.
The one-stroke penalty where the ball crossed into the penalty area is much less severe than two-stroke lost ball penalty.
"'Look it's red' can be a celebratory comment on golf courses," says Jason Ridgeway. "A golfer has concerns the ball is lost in trees with severe penalty, but celebrates one less penalty stroke when red stakes or lines are present."
The drop area for both red and yellow staked penalty areas is two club lengths from where the ball crossed red or yellow. There is no relief to the nearest fairway, which can leave a golfer chipping out to the fairway.
Where did your ball cross that red or yellow line? Stand there. You drop knee high within 2 club lengths no closer to the hole. You are penalized just one-stroke.
"Listen up. I have three important things to say," says Jason Ridgeway.
"First, your drop area could be hidden behind a tree. This does not entitle you to ignore the rule. You need to chip the ball back into the fairway, which can sometimes mean backwards.
Second, you are not permitted to walk 30 feet out of the woods and drop in the nearest fairway. That is breaking the rules. The drop is two club lengths from the red staked line.
Lastly, you are not permitted to hit a ball 95% across a pond and drop a ball as if they crossed the pond. That ball crossed the staked line prior to the pond and will be dropped in front of the pond or you are breaking the rules."
What does one-stroke mean? You took a stroke from the tee box and hit a ball into a lake or river. You drop another ball and add one stroke as a penalty. You are hitting your 3rd shot likely from the rough near the red stakes.
The USGA provides a second option. A golfer can ignore the stake and play their ball as it lies. Golfers who believe the ball can be played in a penalty area can do so.
“The USGA has a set of rules to follow for less common yellow stakes and lined areas,” added Jason Ridgeway. “Your partner is permitted to follow USGA rules, however the Carl Spackler Open allows its players to play yellow staked hazards as red for rule simplicity.”
The 2023 Carl Spackler Open is set with a tournament field of 84 golfers residing in 15 states. The 54-hole handicapped tournament has a practice round. The tournament tee is set at 6,450 yards with seniors playing from 6,000 yards.