Rules of the Game

By Alan Jeffrey

QUESTION: Celia and Jimmy are playing in a tournament. On the 15th hole, Jimmy strokes his ball off the fairway into a treed area. The ball is in an unplayable position. He drops his ball within two club-lengths of the spot where it lay and it rests in its original position. Jimmy says he is allowed to re-drop without penalty because the dropped ball is in its original position. Celia disagrees and says unless Jimmy plays the ball as it lies, he is subject to a penalty stoke. Is Celia correct?

ANSWER: When Jimmy dropped his ball after declaring it unplayable, it became the ball in play. Unless Jimmy plays the ball as it lies, he will incur an additional penalty. Celia knows the rules. See USGA Decisions on the Rules of Golf, 2014-2015, 28/3.

Golf clinics continue on Saturday mornings, 10:30-12-noon. Remember, the swing’s the thing and continuous improvement is what it’s all about.

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