2019 Rules FAQs

Penalty Areas

Relief from a Red or Yellow Penalty Area

Q. How do I take relief from a yellow or red penalty area?

A. When you take relief from a penalty area, you get one penalty stroke. For yellow penalty areas, you have two relief options. For red penalty areas, you have three relief options (the same two relief options as you do for yellow, plus one additional option.) For a yellow penalty area, you may take relief by dropping into a relief area using (1) the spot at which your last stroke was made under stroke and distance (see Rule 17.1d(1)) or (2) the back-on-the-line relief procedure (see Rule 17.1d(2)). For a red penalty area, you have the two options above for a yellow penalty area, plus an additional option to take lateral relief. Lateral relief allows you to drop a ball into a relief area measured from where your ball last crossed the edge of red penalty area. From that reference point, you are allowed to drop outside the penalty area and anywhere within two club-lengths of that spot, no nearer to the hole (see Rule 17.1d(3)).