Major Change: Procedure for Taking Back-on-the-Line ReliefGolf's New Rules


Golf's New Rules: Major Changes

New Rule: Players continue to drop a ball when taking relief, but the dropping procedure is changed in several ways as detailed in Rule 14.3:

  • The focus of the dropping procedure is on a specific “relief area” set by the Rule under which relief is being taken and is either one or two club-lengths from a reference point (and may have certain other limitations).
  • The ball needs only to be dropped in and come to rest in the relief area; and there is no re-drop requirement if the dropped ball accidentally hits a person or object after hitting the ground but before coming to rest in the relief area.
  • If the dropped ball comes to rest outside the relief area, it is dropped a second time; if it comes to rest outside the relief area after being dropped a second time it is placed where it first touched the ground.
  • If the placed ball does not come to rest on that spot after two attempts, the player will then place the ball on the nearest spot (not nearer the hole) where it will come to rest.


Reasons for Change:

The new procedure means there is greater consistency across all relief procedures, making it simpler for players to know where and how to drop a ball:

  • The new procedure when dropping with reference to a spot is to drop a ball anywhere in a relief area measured one or two club-lengths from (but not nearer the hole than) that spot.