Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Ask Linda #1260-Stance for ball in dropping zone

Hi Linda,

I hope you can help me with a few questions on “Drop Zones.”

At my course in Barbados we have a flower garden that has been mandated by our committee as a penalty of one stroke if a golfer's ball comes to lie within the identified garden. The player must drop and play from within the specified Drop Zone for this flower garden. I am wondering if is it permissible to drop in the Drop Zone but take a stance outside the Drop Zone.

Secondly, on another hole there is a cart path beside the green that if a golfer's ball comes to lie on the cart path or the stance is on the cart path, the golfer may elect to get relief without penalty from the cart path by going to the identified "Drop Zone." Same question: Can golfer drop in the "Drop Zone" but take a stance outside the "Drop Zone?”

I read your emails daily and have learned many finer points re: the Rules of Golf. I thank you for taking the time to set us duffers straight on many rules.

Lou from Bardados

Dear Lou,

When the Rules specify a location where a ball must be dropped, they refer to the ball only. You may place your feet anywhere.

I am puzzled by the Committee’s decision to impose a one-stroke penalty for relief from a flower garden. There is a Local Rule that allows a Committee to prohibit play from areas it wishes to protect. The procedure is to declare such areas Ground Under Repair, and require mandatory relief. Relief is then available under Rule 25-1; such relief is free (no penalty). Please draw your Committee’s attention to Appendix I, Part A, #2a.


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