Golf Rule 20 – Lifting, Dropping, and Placing; Playing at Wrong Place

LIFTING, DROPPING, AND PLACING: PLAYING AT A WRONG PLACE:

LIFTING–if a rule allows the player to lift his ball, the player, partner, or authorized person by the player can lift his ball. If someone other than the player lifts his ball, the player is responsible for that person for any rule violation.
MARK THE POSITION OF THE BALL BEFORE YOU LIFT IT IF THE BALL IS GOING TO BE REPLACED.

PENALTY for lifting a ball that is to be replaced without marking it is ONE-STROKE and the ball must be replaced. If the ball is not replaced the penalty is Loss of Hole in Match Play and Two-Strokes in Stroke Play.

A ball marker of ball that is accidentally moved in the process or act of lifting or marking the player’s ball must replace the ball without penalty. NOTE–if a player doesn’t mark his ball to determine if it’s unfit for play, he does not receive an additional penalty under this rule. In other words, he receives a one stroke penalty and must replace the ball. The player is only penalized once in this case, and the penalty falls under either rule.

THE PROPER WAY TO MARK A BALL IS TO USE A SMALL OBJECT SUCH AS A COIN, BALL MARKER OR OTHER SIMILAR OBJECT DIRECTLY BEHIND THE BALL. IF THE BALL MARKER INTERFERES WITH THE PLAY OF ANOTHER, IT MUST BE PLACE TO THE SIDE USING ONE OR MORE CLUB HEADS.

DROPPING AND WHEN TO RE-DROP: the player and only the player may drop a ball when a drop is required.
The player must drop the ball standing straight, he must hold the ball at shoulder heighth and arm’s length. PENALTY–one stroke penalty if a ball is dropped and not corrected by anyone else or not in the prescribed way.

NOTE–the ball must be re-dropped without penalty if the ball touches the player, partner, either of their caddies or their equipment before coming to rest. There is no limit to how many times the ball must be re-dropped if the above circumstances take place.
WHERE TO DROP A BALL: in case of a lost ball by a stroke last played through the green the player is required to drop a ball as near as possible to the spot last played. The player must drop no nearer the hole, and estimate the spot if the exact spot is not known.

NOTE–when a ball is dropped it has to strike part of the course that is required by the appropriate rule.

WHEN A BALL MUST BE RE-DROPPED WITHOUT PENALTY:
(i) ball rolls into a hazard
(ii) ball dropped in hazard and then rolls out
(iii) ball rolls onto a putting green
(iv) ball rolls out of bounds
(v) ball rolls back to a position for which relief was originally taken
(vi) rolls and comes to rest more than two club-lengths from where the ball first struck part of the course
(vii) the ball comes to rest nearer the hole than the original or estimated spot
(viii) the ball comes to rest nearer the hole than the point the original ball last crossed the margin of a hazard

NOTE–the ball must be placed as near as possible to the spot where it first touched part of the course if it rolls into any of the above positions. In other words, the ball can only be dropped twice and then must be placed if it rolls into any of the above listed positions.

NOTE–if a rule requires a ball to be re-dropped and it’s not immediately recoverable, the player can substitute another ball.

PLACING AND REPLACING A BALL: placing a ball required by a rule must be placed by the player or his partner. Replacinga ball must be done by the player, his parner, or the person who lifted it and must be placed on the spot from which it was originally lifted or moved.

NOTE–the player is responsible if a rule is broken by whomever is placing or replacing his ball.

NOTE–there is no penalty if the ball or ball-marker is accidentally moved in the process of placing or replacing the ball, but make sure you replace the ball or marker at the correct spot.

LIE ALTERED WHERE BALL IS TO BE PLACED OR REPLACED: (i) Other than in a hazard–for example, the spot you’re to replace your ball was just run over by a golf cart destroying your lie. Replace the ball in the nearest lie most similar to the original lie (a)which is not nearer the hole, (b)not more than one club-length from the original lie, and (c)not in a hazard.
(ii)In a water hazard–the ball must be placed as described above but must remain in the wate hazard.
(iii) In a bunker–this is probably the most common. Recreate the lie as nearly as possible and the ball must be placed in that lie.

SPOT TO PLACE OR REPLACE CANNOT BE DETERMINED: (i) if the spot THROUGH THE GREEN cannot be determined the ball must be dropped as near as possible to the original spot but not in a hazard or on the putting green.
(ii) if the spot in a HAZARD cannot be determined the shall be dropped in the same hazard as near as possible to where the original ball lay.
(iii) if the spot on a PUTTING GREEN cannot be determined the ball must be placed as near as possible to the place where the original ball lay but not in a hazard.

BALL WILL NOT COME TO REST ON THE SPOT: A ball must be replaced without penalty if it fails to come to rest on the spot which it was placed. If it it then fails to come to rest on that spot (i) other than in a hazard, it must be place at the nearest spot not nearer the hole or in a hazard where it can be placed and remain at rest.
(ii) If the spot is in a hazard, it must be placed in the same hazard at the nearest spot not nearer the hole where it will remain at rest.

NOTE–A BALL THAT IS AT REST ON THE PROPER SPOT IS WAS PLACED AND THEN SUBSEQUENTLY MOVES, THERE IS NO PENALTY AND THE BALL IS TO BE PLAYED AS IT LIES, UNLESS ANOTHER RULE APPLIES.

PENALTY: LOSS OF HOLE IN MATCH PLAY AND TWO STROKES IN STROKE PLAY for a rule violation concerning lifting, dropping , re-dropping, placing and replacing.

WHEN A BALL IS IN PLAY AFTER IT’S DROPPED: a ball is back in play after it’s dropped or placed assuming it was in play when lifted. A substituted ball is in play once it’s dropped.

NEXT STROKE PLAYED FROM PREVIOUS SPOT: an example is a ball hit out of bounds. If the last stroke was played from the teeing ground, the ball must be played anywhere within the teeing ground and a tee can be used. If a ball is to be played other than from the teeing ground and putting green, it must be dropped. A ball to be played from the putting green must be placed.

PENALTY FOR NOT FOLLOWING THIS PROCEDURE IS LOSS OF HOLE IN MATCH PLAY AND TWO-STROKES IN STROKE PLAY.

INCORRECTLY SUBSTITUTED, PLACED, OR DROPPED BALL—CORRECTING ERROR BEFORE PLAYING WITHOUT PENALTY: You must know this one!! If a player incorrectly substitutes, dropped, or placed a ball in a wrong place, the player can lift the ball and proceed properly without penalty.

PLAYING FROM A WRONG PLACE: (this is different than playing a wrong ball) In Match Play it’s really basic. A player who plays a ball from a wrong place other than the teeing ground results in LOSS OF HOLE.
In Stroke Play When the player’s ball is in play and he plays a stroke (i) at a ball placed or dropped in a wrong place, (ii) at his ball which was moved and not replaced when requird to (as long as a serious breach has not occurred), the player receives the general penalty for the violated rule and finishes the hole with that ball.
In other words, if a player accidentally moves his ball when it’s in play (in the fairway he moved the ball a few inches while addressing his ball). If he plays it from the new position (he is required to replace the ball with a one-stroke penalty) he incurs an additional penalty of one-stroke for playing from a wrong place, two-stroke penalty in all.NOTE–AS LONG AS A SERIOUS BREACH HAS NOT OCCURRED, THE PLAYER DOES NOT CORRECT HIS ERROR, HE FINISHES THE HOLE WITH THE BALL PUT IN PLAY AT THE WRONG PLACE. (remember, he can correct the error before he plays from the wrong place but not after)

NOTE–If the player thinks he is in violation of a serious breach, (gaining a significant advantage or distance without making a stroke)as long as he has not played a stroke from the next teeing ground, or left the putting green if he’s playing the last hole of the round, announce his intention to play out the hole with a second ball placed or dropped according to the appropriate rule. The player then must report all the facts to the committee (otherwise he’s disqualified) before finalizing his score card. If the committee finds that a serious breach had occurred, the score with the second ball counts with an additional two-stroke penalty. If the player did not correct the error and a serious breach was ruled, the penalty–disqualification.

NOTE–penalty strokes incurred by playing the ball that’s ruled not to count and subsequent strokes with that ball are disregarded.