Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Ask Linda #1189-Return to tee for unplayable ball

"Ball unplayable"... The rules say that a ball can be declared "unplayable" anywhere on the course. If shot was from the tee, the player has the added option to “return to the tee and play again from there"....I think that's right.
On this occasion the player hit their tee shot, which struck a tree and shot some twenty feet behind us. The player declared it unplayable and "returned" to the tee...however to do this meant moving "forward" to the tee and therefore nearer the hole.
Was this allowed?
Lou from London, UK

Dear Lou,


One of the relief options for an unplayable ball is to return to where the original ball was last played [Rule 28a]. If the original ball was the player’s tee shot, he may return to the tee, and he may tee the ball up [Rule 20-5a]. He must add one penalty stroke to his score. The fact that the ball ended up behind the player has no relevance here.

Please be aware that a ball may be declared unplayable anywhere on the course except when the ball lies in a water hazard.

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