Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Ask Linda #1662-Declare ball unplayable

Hi Linda,
Today a member of our group hit her tee shot into the adjacent fairway. The player immediately declared her tee shot unplayable and hit another tee shot. There was some discussion about the legality of this. I said she had the right to declare any ball unplayable as long as it didn’t land in a water hazard. I hope I was right on this one.
Thanks for any clarification.
Lulu from Burbank, California

Dear Lulu,

You nailed it, Lulu. Rule 28 permits a player to declare her ball unplayable anywhere on the golf course, except when her ball lies in a water hazard. This decision is the player’s alone – no one may overrule her.

There is no need to find and identify the ball if the player has chosen the stroke-and-distance relief option for an unplayable ball, as she did in your narrative. However, if the player were to opt for either the flagline or the two-club-length relief options [Rule 28b or c], she would have to find and identify her ball first [Decision 28/1].

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