16th Hole – Red Penalty Area (Rule 17)

Alex, Bo, and Chris all got into trouble with their tee shots at the 16th. Alex didn’t get a good connection and ended up in the middle of the lake. Bo under clubbed, and while it just carried the lake it fell back into it from the bank. Chris took an extra club but pulled it and flew the green completely landing straight in the water beyond the green. The photo shows the flights of their balls (in yellow) and the track on the ground (black dotted lines).

Alex Bo and Chris on the 16th

While none of them can find their ball, they have seen the splashes so it is >95% certain that they are in the Penalty Area. They all need to take relief from the Red Penalty Area with the addition of 1 penalty stroke so they will be playing their third strokes next. What are their options?

  • They can play again from anywhere in their Teeing Area
  • They can take back-on-line relief keeping the point X directly between them and the hole. They can choose a reference point anywhere along the solid blue line that isn’t in the same penalty area and their relief area is within 1 club length and not nearer the hole than this reference point. Note that for Bo this is going back into the trees by the bridge, while Chris would have to go over towards the 20th fairway under this option.
  • As it is marked as a Red Penalty Area they can also take lateral relief within 2 club lengths of (and not nearer the hole than) the point X where their ball last crossed in to the Penalty Area. For Chris it would be possible that this Relief Area may extend into the bunker. Chris could then choose to drop either in the bunker or in the general area but if the ball is dropped into the general area and the ball rolls into the bunker (or vice versa), it would have to be re-dropped.

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