Cam Smith – Penalty Area Relief

An illustration of how simple things can go wrong – also perhaps why Tour Players will call a referee for situations where you might expect them to know the rules.

The language used in the video is a little “loose” when referring to “complete relief” (which he doesn’t need to take), but it does teach a good lesson.

When taking relief from a penalty area you must take relief outside that penalty area (seems sensible?) Whenever a ball is touching part of a penalty area it is deemed to be inside the penalty area (Rule 17.1a) and any line defining the edge of a penalty area is part of that penalty area.

When taking lateral relief, the relief area from the penalty area definition includes the following – “May be in any area of the course except the same penalty area” (Rule 17.1d(3)).

As Cam’s ball was touching the line he played from outside the Relief Area which is a wrong place and so he got a 2 stroke penalty under Rule 14.7 (Playing from the Wrong Place). He did not gain any significant advantage over playing from the correct place – if he had it would have been a DQ as he had not corrected the mistake.

I said the language was “loose” – taking “complete relief” is a phrase used when taking relief from an abnormal course condition (for example GUR). In this case you must move to a position where there is no interference by the condition to your lie, stance, or area of intended swing. (Your “Reference Point” is the nearest point to your ball, not nearer the hole where there is none of this interference). When taking relief from a penalty area you r reference point is where it last crossed in to that penalty area. It is only the lie of the ball that must be outside the penalty area when taking relief and you may stand in the penalty area to play it.

One thought on “Cam Smith – Penalty Area Relief

  1. I was impressed by Smith’s honesty in acknowledging that his ball was touching the PA line and by his class when being told about the penalty. What really frustrates me is when publications like Golf Digest refer to the incident as “bizarre”. They must assume that no one will read their articles unless they create some sort of controversy.

    Liked by 1 person

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