No.51 Lifting and Dropping
 
 
Question 1:
a) If a player's ball lies in the rough against an immovable obstruction may they drop their ball on the fairway providing it is within the permitted area of relief?
b) If a player's ball lies on the fairway and the Committee has introduced a Local Rule for preferred lies that permits placing the ball within 12 inches not nearer the hole, may the player place their ball in the rough, providing it is within the permitted area of relief?

Answer 1:

a) Yes, there is no distinction in the Rules between fairway and rough; both are covered by the term 'through the green.'
b) Yes, as in a) above.


Note: Interestingly, the only time that the word 'fairway' is mentioned in the Rules of Golf is in Rule 25-2 - Embedded Ball;
 
A ball embedded in its own pitch-mark in the ground in any closely mown area through the green may be lifted, cleaned and dropped, without penalty, as near as possible to the spot where it lay but not nearer the hole. The ball when dropped must first strike a part of the course through the green. "Closely mown area" means any area of the course, including paths through the rough, cut to fairway height or less.
 
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Question 2:
 
a) Does a player incur a penalty if they play a ball which they have dropped when the Rules required that it must be placed?
b) Does a player incur a penalty if they play a ball which they have placed when the Rules required that it must be dropped?
c) A ball has been incorrectly dropped when it should have been placed. Assuming that it has not been played may the player lift it without penalty?


Answer 2:
a) Yes, Decision 20-6/1, penalty of loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play.
b) Yes, Decision 20-6/1, penalty of loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play.
c) Yes, Rule 20-6.


Rule 20-6 states;
 
A ball incorrectly substituted, dropped or placed in a wrong place or otherwise not in accordance with the Rules but not played may be lifted, without penalty, and the player must then proceed correctly.
 

 
Another 'Rhodes Rules School' Q&A will follow next week,
 
Good golfing,
 
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