Good article . It’s also not just the spot where you drop your ball which needs to be outside of the relief area – it’s also the reference point itself – so take care to make sure you first find a point on the line which is outside the penalty area- then determine the relief area from there.
This is great but I cant see a print option (full size A4) perhaps to pdf for those of us who want to print off a copy and read (and reread!) at leisure.
Hello Mr Larkins, good suggestion – scroll down to the bottom of the 2 pages and there is a printable version on pdf added.
What a great idea to do these rules.
One question I have always wondered about :- Can you take a provisional ball over a water hazard.?
Sometimes it is impossible to know whether your ball has rolled back into the pond on the 7th for example, and it would save time to play a provisional just in case.
Thank you for the question Maureen. We plan to include the issue of how and when to play a provisional ball in a future edition of Rules Matters.
However, in summary, the playing of a provisional ball is covered in the Rule 18.3 of the Rules of Golf. Essentially, if, after playing a shot, you think your ball may be lost in a penalty area (or out of bounds) you should play a provisional ball. The purpose of the Rule is to save time, hence you must inform your fellow-competitors that you intend to play a provisional ball, and you must play it before you go forward to search for the original ball.
If the original ball is found OUTSIDE of the penalty area before the end of the 3-minute search time, you must play the original ball as it lies.
If the original ball is found INSIDE the penalty area, you must play it as it lies or take normal penalty relief.
If you are aware the only possible place the original ball can be is LOST in a penalty area, you must continue with the provisional ball under penalty of one stroke.
Remember though, you can only continue to play your provisional ball until you reach the place where the original is likely to be. If you make a stroke at your provisional ball at that point, the provisional becomes the ball in play and the original is rendered lost.
Rest assured we will cover this in more detail in a future Rules Matters.