A message from the Club Committee




Dear Member,

As there have been several changes to the Rules of Golf this year and various questions have been asked of committee members after competition rounds, it was agreed at a recent committee meeting that we would address some of the more common scenarios that occur when playing the Indiana Course, with a series of regular Rules Newsletters, of which this is the second in the series.

Part 1 (for those who missed it) can be found here.

We all acknowledge that the Rules of Golf can be complex, at times perplexing, even occasionally irritating, but we hope that this series informs, enlightens and even, hopefully, entertains!

A small crowd had gathered around the Oldest Member now, and George realised he was done for.

He settled into his chair by the fireside and motioned for another drink.

As it happened (continued the Oldest Member), the advantage didn´t last very long. After three good tee shots on the 7th, Bob played a lovely lay-up shot, and Chris prepared to take on the long carry to the green.

Unfortunately for him, his long iron was skulled badly and flew like a wounded snipe, barely making it airborne before fluttering to the parched ground and running out of sight over the hill.

“hopefully, that´s stopped before the water”, said Chris

They walked down towards the green, but there was no sign of Chris´ ball.

“Now, I know this rule” said John, “I had this happen to me not long ago”.

“As long as you are virtually certain that the ball is in the penalty area, then we can treat it as being in the penalty area, and you can take relief under the same Rule 17 as I did on the last hole, right”?

Chris nodded, “aye, that´s right” he said, going on to mumble to himself, “I must be t´unluckiest golfer in t´entire world for that not to stop. It´d a been the perfect lay-up here, otherwise”.

“Oh, well” sighed Chris, “it´s clear fairway all the way down to the water, so, do you both agree that it´s virtually certain that it went in the water”?

John and Bob nodded, “it was moving at a fair clip, and there´s nowhere else it could be” agreed Bob.

“No need to remind me” grumbled Chris, “I know it were rubbish”.

He marked the spot where he thought his ball had most likely crossed the margin of the penalty area and checked that his playing partners agreed.

“So, do you have the same options I had to drop” said John?

“Not quite”, replied Bob.

“As this is a Yellow penalty area, Chris only has 2 options, not 3,

1) Take Stroke and Distance Relief and go back to where he last played from or

2) Take Back on the line Relief, and go back as far as he wants on the line to the pin from where his ball crossed the margin

Your 3rd option of Lateral Relief only applies to Red penalty areas”, he explained.

“Well, I´m not going back there, that´s for certain”, said Chris peremptorily. “I´ll take Back on the line Relief”.

He walked back about 30 yards to a level spot in the fairway, checked the yardage to the pin and went back a few yards more.

“I´ll drop it here” he called out.

“I´m on a line from the pin with my marker, where I crossed, and then I get a 1 club length relief area from where the ball lands on that line when I drop it. As long as it stays inside that circle, then the ball will be in play.”

He dropped the ball, but it dropped, bounced and rolled away. After checking that it had rolled more than 1 club length, he dropped it again. This time, it stayed within the 1 club length, so he played it to the green from there.

As they walked up to the green, John asked what would have happened if it had rolled away again.

Chris replied that he would have then placed it where it dropped the second time, and added that the same would have happened, had the ball dropped in the fairway, which is part of the General Area of the course, but then bounced and rolled into another area of the course, such as a bunker, another penalty area, or a putting green.

They all putted out and the scores were back to almost level again.

Diagram for relief options for a Yellow Penalty Area.


To be continued…