Monday, June 6, 2011

Ask Linda #308-Drop or place on green

Linda, love your emails - definitely "plain English"
In Ask Linda #290–Relief from hazard on green? (posted on April 14), you talk of "dropping the ball on a putting green." Surely one must not drop a ball on a putting green. One must place it.

Down here in South Africa we fall under the R&A. In our rule book we have "A quick guide to the rules of golf" and in there it states: “If the ball is on the putting green, it is placed." Also, Rule 24-3 says …"or on the putting green place a ball."

Lu in South Africa

Dear Lu,

When you are taking two-club-length relief from a lateral water hazard or an unplayable lie, the Rules require that you drop the ball [Rule 26-1c; Rule 28c].

The rule you refer to – Rule 24-3b [also 24-2b (iii)]– explains how to take relief when you have interference from an immovable obstruction. In this case, if your ball lies on the green, then you are entitled to place it at the nearest point of relief, which may turn out to be on or off the green.

If you take a careful look at the various rules that explain relief procedures, you will learn that the only time you are permitted to place a ball on the green is when your ball is already lying on the green.

Cautionary advice:
The Rules of Golf require different procedures for different situations. When you are trying to find out how to take relief from a lateral water hazard, the answer will not be under the rule explaining how to take relief from an immovable obstruction.

By the way, the Rules of Golf are the same throughout the world. The USGA and the R&A work together to write and revise the Rules.

Copyright © 2011 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.