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Rule Tips

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  • Rule Tips

    Just a couple quick references which may help you remember a few things about the rules. Note that these are general guidelines and not guaranteed to cover every potential situation.

    - Do I get two club lengths in which to drop, or one?

    The general rule is:

    Free relief = 1 club length

    Paying a penalty = 2 club lengths

    So free relief from an obstruction, ground under repair or casual water? You must drop within 1 club length of the Nearest Point of Relief (NPR).

    Dropping out of a lateral water hazard or taking an unplayable lie? In both cases you're taking a penalty stroke, so 2 club lengths from your reference point.

    Note that this does not mean you only get 1 or 2 club lengths of relief, simply that the ball when dropped must strike the course within 1 or 2 club lengths. The ball may then roll up to 2 club lengths away from where it struck the course. So you could end up getting 3-4 club lengths of relief, depending on how far your ball rolls.

    - One stroke or two stroke penalty?

    In general, 1 stroke penalties apply to accidents and errors in procedure. Two stroke penalties are for conscious violations.

    As an example, accidentally hitting your ball on a practice swing through the green is a 1-stroke penalty (and the ball must be replaced). Or, failing to follow the proper procedure when lifting your ball for identification is a 1-stroke penalty.

    However, grounding your club in a hazard is a two-stroke penalty. Touching your line of putt is a 2-stroke penalty. Improving your lie is a 2-stroke penalty. These are all avoidable actions, so if you insist on doing them, you pay the larger penalty.

    - Play the ball as it lies, or replace it?

    In general, whenever your ball is moved, it must be replaced.

    When your ball is in motion and is deflected, it is played as it lies.

    - How soon must I correct a mistake?

    In general, an incorrect penalty must be rectified before you tee off on the next hole, or before leaving the putting green if on the 18th hole. Now, this does not mean if you can't remember if something is a 1 or 2-stroke penalty you have to figure that out right then and there. In that case, as long as you determine the correct penalty before turning in your card, you're OK. But if for example, you realize you played a wrong ball, you'd want to correct that before teeing off on the next hole.

  • #2
    Great start Wade! Thank you!!