Rule 17 - Penalty Areas
Rule 17 - Penalty Areas
Purpose of Rule: Rule 17 is a specific Rule for penalty areas, which are bodies of water or other areas defined by the Committee where a ball is often lost or unable to be played. For one penalty stroke, you may use specific relief options to play a ball from outside the penalty area.
17.1 Options for Your Ball in Penalty Area
Penalty areas are defined as either red or yellow. This affects your relief options (see Rule 17.1d).
You may stand in a penalty area to play a ball outside the penalty area, including after taking relief from the penalty area.
a. When Your Ball Is in Penalty Area
Your ball is in a penalty area when any part of it lies on or touches the ground or anything else inside the edge of the penalty area, or is above the edge or any other part of the penalty area.
b. You May Play Ball as It Lies in Penalty Area or Take Penalty Relief
You may either play the ball as it lies without penalty or play a ball from outside the penalty area by taking penalty relief.
Exception – Relief Must Be Taken from Interference by No Play Zone in Penalty Area.
c. Relief for Your Ball Not Found but in Penalty Area
If your ball has not been found and it is known or virtually certain that it came to rest in a penalty area you may take penalty relief under this Rule.
But if it is not known or virtually certain that your ball came to rest in a penalty area and the ball is lost, you must take stroke-and-distance relief.
d. Relief for Your Ball in Penalty Area
You have the relief options shown in Diagram #1 17.1d (relief for yellow penalty area) and Diagram #2 17.1d (relief for red penalty area), each for one penalty stroke.
e. Relief Must Be Taken from Interference by No Play Zone in Penalty Area
In each of these situations, your ball must not be played as it lies:
When your ball is in a no play zone in a penalty area.
When a no play zone on the course interferes with your stance or swing for your ball in a penalty area.
For an explanation of the relief procedure for a no play zone in a penalty area.
17.2 Options After Playing Your Ball from Penalty Area
a. When Your Ball Played from Penalty Area Comes to Rest in Same or Another Penalty Area
If your ball played from a penalty area comes to rest in the same penalty area or another penalty area, you may play the ball as it lies.
Or, for one penalty stroke, you have the relief options shown in Diagram #1 17.2a and Diagram #2 17.2a.
b. When Your Ball Played from Penalty Area Is Lost, Out of Bounds or Unplayable Outside Penalty Area
For information on how to take relief when your ball played from a penalty area is lost, out of bounds or unplayable outside a penalty area.
17.3 No Relief Under Other Rules for Your Ball in Penalty Area
When your ball is in a penalty area, there is no relief for interference by an abnormal course condition (Rule 16.1), an embedded ball (Rule 16.3), or an unplayable ball (Rule 19).
Your only relief option is to take penalty relief under Rule 17.