Rule of the Month

May 2020

Please can you explain the new dropping procedure?

When dropping the player may use the original or another ball. Only the player can drop the ball in singles (but in foursomes and four-ball a partner may also drop the ball). Drop straight down from knee height, as shown in the picture, without throwing, spinning or rolling. Ball must strike the ground in the Relief Area and be played from the Relief Area. If you forget and drop from shoulder height correct the error before you hit your shot or you will be penalised a stroke.

 

Dropping Procedure

Knee Height:
  • Must be dropped from knee height.
  • Must be dropped straight down without touching player or equipment before hitting ground.
  • Must be dropped in Relief Area.
Note: 'Knee height' means the height of a player's knee when in a standing position.
Dropping procedure crop

 

April 2020

What are my options when I cannot possibly play my ball because it in such a bad lie in a Bunker?

Dropping in bunkerRule 19.3 – Relief Options for Unplayable Ball in Bunker. Three options for relief under penalty of one stroke: - (1) Stroke and Distance relief: Stroke and Distance is going back to where you played the previous shot under penalty of one. If you played the previous shot from the Teeing Area you can tee the ball anywhere within the Teeing Area. If the previous shot was in the bunker then the relief must be in the bunker. (2) Back on a line relief: Back on a line relief is going back on a line with the ball and the pin, marking the point of relief and dropping in a relief area of one club length not nearer the hole in the Bunker, or (3) Lateral Relief: Lateral Relief is dropping in the Relief Area 2 club lengths from the ball not nearer the hole in the Bunker. Additionally for a penalty of 2 strokes the player may take back-on-a-line relief, outside the bunker, straight back from the hole and the ball position. (See 4 in diagram)

March 2020

What are my options when my ball is in such a bad lie I cannot possibly play it?

Unplayable Ball – Rule 19 – Three options for relief under penalty of one stroke: - Stroke and Distance relief (see 1 below), Back on a line relief (see 2 below) or Lateral Relief (see 3 below). Stroke and Distance is going back to where you played the previous shot under penalty of one. If where you played the previous shot was the Teeing Area you can tee the ball anywhere within the Teeing Area. Back on a line relief is going back on a line with the ball and the pin, marking the point of relief and dropping in a relief area of one club length not nearer the hole, and Lateral Relief is dropping in the Relief Area 2 club lengths from the ball not nearer the hole. Remember to drop from knee height. Unplayable ball

February 2020

Help, what do I do when the bunker is full of water?

Club Committees can declare Bunkers an Abnormal Course Condition - Ground Under Repair which allows the player to take a free drop out of the Bunker within one club length of the nearest point of complete relief not nearer the hole. However, scores will not be Qualifying/Acceptable Scores for Handicap if more than 50% of bunkers are taken out of play.
The R&A Rules of Golf do cover the relief from Temporary Water in Bunkers under Rule 16.1c as follows:-
For free relief, the player must determine the nearest point of complete relief in the bunker, not nearer the hole, and drop ball within relief area. For penalty relief, the player must pick a reference point outside the bunker, back on the line from the flagstick and drop the ball in the relief area for penalty of one stroke. (See diagram)
If the bunker is full of water and there is no nearest point of complete relief the player may still take relief using the maximum point of relief in the bunker (in the shallowest water) not nearer the hole without penalty.

Water in Bunker

January 2020 - Introduction

The new R&A Rules of Golf became Effective from January 2019. Standards of Player Conduct now comes into Rule Number 1.2 instead of in a separate section called Etiquette. All players are expected to act within the spirit of the game, with integrity, by following the Rules, applying all Penalties and being honest in all aspects of play. Players should always consider others by playing at a prompt pace, looking out for the safety of others, and not distracting the play of another player. Players should take good care of the course by replacing divots, smoothing bunkers, repairing ball-marks and not causing unnecessary damage to the course. The Committee may set its own standards of player conduct in a Code of Conduct adopted as a Local Rule.

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Defined Areas of the Course

Areas of the course

Rule 2.2: There are 5 defined Areas of the Course. The General Area covers the entire course except for 4 specific areas. It includes fairway, rough, trees and ground or anything growing or attached within those areas. The 4 specific areas are: The Teeing Area where the player starts the hole (Rule 6.2), Bunkers (Rule 12), Penalty Areas (Rule 17) and Putting Green of the hole the player is playing (Rule 13).