7th Hole @Brokenhurst – Unplayable Lie

The start of the middle loop of 6 – the most difficult loop and level to handicap through these holes is normally a good result. The 7th at 376 yds from the white tees and 344 from the reds is possibly the easiest of the six.

Driving over the road, the only trouble is the trees on either side and a couple of bunkers by the green. However I’ve hit a very poor second into the edge of the trees on the right hand side where I’ve found a horrible lie.

It is completely at the player’s discretion whether they choose to declare their ball unplayable (Rule 19.1) – what one person relishes as a challenge may be seen by another as impossible. The main question to ask yourself is whether you are likely to get to a better place if you play the ball than if you take one of the relief options (all for the addition of 1 penalty stroke).

  • Lateral Relief: Reference Point is the position of the ball, Relief Area within 2 club lengths and not nearer the hole (Rule 19.2c)
  • Back-on-the-line: Reference Point is on a line keeping the point where the ball is between you and the hole, Relief Area within 1 club length and not nearer the hole (Rule 19.2b)
  • Stroke and Distance: Reference Point is the place you last played from, Relief Area within 1 club length and not nearer the hole (Rule 19.2a)

A few points to remember:

Bunkers
If you are taking an unplayable lie in a bunker using either the Lateral or Back-on-the-line options, you must drop the ball within that bunker. However you can drop back-on-the-line outside the bunker for the addition of 2 penalty strokes.

Loose Impediments (natural things such as leaves) &
Movable Obstructions (artificial items such as litter)
You may remove any loose impediments or movable obstructions from your relief area before you drop the ball. (Rule 15.1)

Lateral Relief
The reference point is the position of the ball, not the edge of the bush or the nearest playable position. If you are in a big bush you may need to take lateral relief more than once to get to a position where your ball is playable.

Back-on-the-line
You must keep the current position of the ball between you and the hole – it is not back on the “line of flight” that your ball took on the way in to the trouble spot.

Stroke and Distance
If you make a stroke at your ball in its bad lie and fail to move it, or move it only a short distance, you will lose this option as the place you last played from is now in that initial bad lie. If this is your only reasonable relief option think long and hard before attempting to play it as it lies.

If you have played a provisional ball you can not use it as your stroke and distance option – you must go back and play another.

Don’t forget that you do have 1 club length from the place where you last played – this may allow you to play from a slightly better place than before.

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