While this post is about the 17th hole at Cumberwell Park it highlights points about identifying where a ball lost crossed in to a penalty area as well as the level of certainty if there is the possibility that a ball may have emerged from the penalty area. So please read on…
A problem that a lot of us have – avoiding the Red Penalty Area (RPA) to the right of the 17th hole. Below we have four different tee shots, all of which may, or may not, end up in the Penalty Area – perhaps depending on whether a tree caught the ball on the way. Hopefully, we can agree that as the only area outside the Penalty Area where the ball may have ended up is very short rough, if it is not found there then we can be 95% certain that the ball is lost in the Penalty Area – but we can’t make this judgement until we have done the search.
You will notice that unless your ball has passed to the left of the big tree on the corner it is likely that your ball crossed into the hazard before this tree and not round the corner.
So what should you do?
Under normal circumstances you need to establish (95% certainty) that your ball is in a penalty area before you can take relief from the Penalty area, however on this hole that might mean quite a long walk back to the place where you can take that relief so, to help with speed of play, we have put in place a local rule allowing you to play a provisional ball under the Penalty Area relief procedure while there is still some doubt about the ball being in the Penalty Area.
If your ball is in the Red Penalty Area your options are:
- Play it as it lies
Or, under penalty of one stroke
- Take Lateral Relief from the point it last crossed in to the hazard (point X). Relief area is within 2 club lengths, not nearer the hole, and not in the hazard.
- Take back on line relief keeping that point X between your chosen reference point and the hole. Relief area is within 1 club length of the reference point, not nearer the hole, and not in the hazard. (Probably not realistic on this hole.)
- Go back to where the stroke was played from
Under the local rule in place at Cumberwell you can choose to play a provisional ball most likely under option 2 or 4 before going to search for your first ball.
If you then find your ball outside the penalty area, you must proceed with your original ball and you can not continue with the provisional.
If you find your ball inside the penalty area you may choose to either play the original ball as it lies, or proceed with the provisional ball (you have already exercised your choice of relief option with your provisional so you can not do it again.)