Sunday, March 6, 2016

Rules Nugget: Flagline

One of the slides at the Rules Workshop included a new term, which was a surprise to the instructors as well as to me. The term is “flagline.” I’m going to define it for you now, so that I will be able to use it in future answers.

One of the relief options for a ball in a water hazard is Rule 26-1b, which states:

Drop a ball behind the water hazard, keeping the point at which the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind the water hazard the ball may be dropped.

This entire wording may now be referenced by one word: “flagline,” as in “you may drop a ball on the flagline.” The term I was using for this in my previous columns was “line of sight to the hole.” It’s the line that starts at the hole (or flagstick), passes through where your ball last crossed the margin of the hazard, and extends behind the hazard.

The flagline would also be the line you would drop on if you chose to take relief from an abnormal ground condition in a bunker. In that case, the line would start at the hole and pass through the spot where your ball lies in the bunker [Rule 25-1b (ii) (b)]. It would also apply to taking relief for an unplayable ball under Rule 28b.

In the drawing below, the flagline is the red dotted line. You would drop on any part of that line behind the water hazard.