Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ask Linda #746-Unplayable drive

Dear Linda,

Yesterday in a tournament, a player topped the ball on the tee and it went about twenty feet into a steep bank.  She couldn't find footing to hit it from there, so she picked it up brought it back to the tee box and re-teed it and proceeded counting it as her third stroke.  Is this correct, or was she supposed to take two club lengths from where it landed and hit it from there?

Thank you,
Lulu from Massachusetts

Dear Lulu,

Except when a ball is in a water hazard, a player may declare her ball “unplayable” anywhere on the golf course. There are three relief options for an unplayable ball (see Rule 28). One of those options is to proceed under stroke and distance. What this means is that the player returns to where she hit her previous shot and adds one penalty stroke to her score. (Incidentally, a player may choose to play a ball under stroke and distance any time she feels so inclined.)

Since this player’s previous shot was hit from the teeing ground, she is permitted to re-tee the ball, and she may re-tee it anywhere on the teeing ground [Rule 20-5a]. The player in your scenario proceeded correctly. Her second tee shot was her third stroke on the hole.

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