Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Ask Linda #1280-Relief across hazard for unplayable ball
Can you help me with this one please? We have a lateral water hazard running alongside one of our par 5's. The ditch is approximately a meter and a half in width. On the other side of the ditch we have trees and brambles and a massive slope leading up to a dirt track. If a player’s ball crosses this ditch there is no way he can use any of the unplayable relief options, e.g., line-of-sight or two club lengths, but if a player’s ball only just crosses the hazard, is he allowed to take two club lengths, which will then put him back over the ditch and nearly on the fairway?
The hazard has red stakes on both sides of the ditch. The question is if a player’s ball ends up unplayable just the other side of the hazard, can he take two club lengths, which will then put him back over the ditch on the fairway side? This is possible by using his driver to measure. The ball is not in the hazard.
Regards as always.
Lou from Wales, UK
Yes. One of the relief options for an unplayable ball is to drop within two club-lengths of where the ball lies, no closer to the hole [Rule 28c]. If the two club-lengths can get you across the narrow hazard onto a decent lie, that is perfectly fine. Don’t forget that you also have the option to hit another ball from the spot where you hit your previous shot (“stroke and distance”). All of the relief options for an unplayable ball include a one-stroke penalty.
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