Rules FAQs

Fairways and Rough (General Area)

Relief Options for Unplayable Ball

Q. I don’t think I can play my ball as it lies (unplayable) – what are my options?

A. If you don’t want to or decide you cannot play your ball as it lies, you have the option to decide that it is unplayable for one penalty stroke (see Rule 19.2). This will give you three options on where you may drop your ball away from the spot where it came to rest. (1) You may play a ball at the spot of your previous stroke (see Rule 19.2a). (2) Take back-on-the-line relief (see Rule 19.2b). (3) Drop within two club-lengths and not nearer the hole than where your ball came to rest (see Rule 19.2c).