Tips from the Pro, Bill Cassell
In the last few weeks a lot of questions have been brought to our attention regarding different rules and circumstances. Problems with unplayable balls, casual water, lost balls and other situations have been the cause of many incorrect rulings, so I’ll try to clear things up.
What happens if I hit my ball in the rough and can’t find it?
Rule 27-1. You have five minutes to look for the ball. When it is determined lost – under a one stroke penalty – you must play another ball as close as possible to where you hit your original shot. If you hit it from the tee you are allowed to retee the ball. In the rule book this is defined as stroke and distance. Under rule 27-2 a provisional ball is in play. If your ball may be lost outside of the water hazard or out of bounds you are allowed to hit a provisional. You must announce to your playing partners that it is a provisional. If it is unannounced, then that ball is in play. You are allowed to play the provisional until you reach the point of where your original ball entered. That is in the interest of saving time.
I hit my ball into a big puddle. Now what?
Rule 25-1. When you hit into the puddle, you have a few options. You can hit the ball as it lies, although I wouldn’t suggest it. You also can take the ball out and take full relief, no closer to the hole. Unlike most drop rules, you must drop at the nearest point of relief whether it is rough or fairway. Both options do not include taking a stroke.
My drive landed right behind a tree and I can’t make a swing or even make contact. What are my options?
Rule 28-1. This rule is called unplayable lie. This rule also has three different options. You can go back to where you hit your original shot and play from there. Your second option is to take a two club length drop, no closer to the hole. Lastly, you can bring the ball as far back keeping the ball and the flagstick on a line. One stroke penalty for all options.
I sliced my ball into the pond. It had yellow stakes. What do they mean and where do I drop?
Rule 26-1. Under a penalty of one stroke, you can play a ball as close as possible at the spot of your original ball was played. Drop a ball behind the water hazard keeping in line the ball and flag, you can take the ball back as far as you need to. Or you can drop a ball two club lengths behind where the ball entered.
Watch this space for more tips from Exeter Country Club PGA Professional Bill Cassell.