Rules FAQ

Rule 28

Ball Unplayable in a Hazard

Q. May a player declare a ball in a hazard unplayable?

A. The answer depends on the type of hazard the ball is in. If the ball is in a water hazard, the player may not declare the ball unplayable. He may play the ball as it lies, or proceed under the water hazard Rule (Rule 26-1). If the unplayable ball lies in a bunker, the player may proceed under any of the options listed in Rule 28. However, if he elects option b or c, the ball must be dropped in the bunker.

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Ball Unplayable

Your options for an unplayable ball

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Video

Approach shot came to rest in a tree left of the green

At the 2000 William's World Challenge, Bernhard Langer's approach shot came to rest in a tree left of the green. Langer declared his ball unplayable to protect himself from incurring a penalty for moving his ball into play during a search.

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Tee shots into a ravine

On the third playoff hole at the 2001 Buick Invitational, Phil Mickelson and Frank Lickliter both drove their tee shots into a ravine.