by Joyce McCann – Rules Chair
Answer these 3 questions correctly, and you can pat yourself on the back!
- Two of the 3 options for taking relief from a Penalty Area marked with red or yellow stakes are the same. What are the two options? What is the third relief option that is only available for one of the two types of Penalty Areas?
- If a red or yellow stake interferes with your lie, stance, or area of intended swing, can you take free relief? If so, how do you take relief? If a white Out of Bounds stake interferes with your lie stance, or area of intended swing, can you take relief?
- How do you know if your ball is in a penalty area marked with a red or yellow stake? How do you know your ball is Out of Bounds?
- Shared options: a) Stroke and Distance relief. Go back and hit the ball again; and b) Back-on-the-Line relief. Drop a ball within 1-club length of a Reference Point you choose that is on a “Reference Line” going straight back from the hole through the estimated point where your ball last crossed the edge of the penalty area.
Option not shared: If your ball is in a penalty area marked by red stakes, you may also take “Lateral Relief”. Drop a ball within 2-club lengths of a Reference Point, which is the estimated point where your ball last crossed into the Penalty Area. (Rule 17)
- You can take free relief from a red or yellow stake. Just remove the stake, and put it back after you’ve made your shot. These stakes are “Movable Obstructions”. But, you cannot remove a white Out of Bounds stake (Rule 15). If you can’t hit your ball without removing the white stake, you will have to declare your ball Unplayable and take penalty relief (Rule 19).
- If any part of your ball touches a line drawn between the two fairway-side edges of the red or yellow stakes nearest to your ball, your ball is in the Penalty Area (e.g., your ball is in the Penalty Area even if 98% of the ball is still in the fairway) (Penalty Area Definition). The Rule is different for White (OB) stakes. if only part of your ball touches a line drawn between the course-side of two OB stakes, it is not OB. The entire ball must be outside the course-side edge of the line to be OB (OB Definition).