The R&A - Working for Golf
Procedures for Ball: Marking, Lifting and Cleaning; Replacing on Spot; Dropping in Relief Area; Playing from Wrong Place
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14.1
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14.2
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Rule 13
Rule 15

Purpose: Rule 14 covers when and how you may mark the spot of your ball at rest and lift and clean your ball and how to put it back into play so that your ball is played from the right place.

  • When your ball has been lifted or moved and is to be replaced, the same ball must be set down on its original spot.
  • When taking free relief or penalty relief, you must drop a substituted ball or the original ball in a particular relief area.

You may correct a mistake in using these procedures without penalty before your ball is played, but you get a penalty if you play the ball from the wrong place.

14.1
Marking, Lifting and Cleaning Ball
a
Spot of Ball to Be Lifted and Replaced Must Be Marked

Before lifting your ball under a Rule requiring it to be replaced on its original spot, you must mark the spot, which means to:

  • Place a ball-marker right behind or right next to your ball, or
  • Hold a club on the ground right behind or right next to your ball.

If you lift your ball without marking its spot, mark its spot in a wrong way or make a stroke with a ball-marker left in place, you get one penalty stroke.

When you lift your ball to take relief under a Rule, you are not required to mark the spot.

b
Who May Lift Ball

Your ball may be lifted under the Rules only by you or anyone you authorize, but you must give such authorization each time before your ball is lifted rather than giving it generally for the round.

Exception - Your Caddie May Lift Your Ball on Putting Green Without Authorization.

c
Cleaning Lifted Ball

When you lift your ball from the putting green it may always be cleaned. When you lift your ball from anywhere else it may always be cleaned except when you lift it:

  • To see if it is cut or cracked - cleaning is not allowed.
  • To identify it - cleaning is allowed only as needed to identify it.
  • Because it interferes with play - cleaning is not allowed.
  • To see if it lies in condition where relief is allowed - cleaning is not allowed, unless you then take relief under a Rule.

If you clean a lifted ball when not allowed, you get one penalty stroke.

14.2
Replacing Ball on Spot
a
Original Ball Must Be Used

When your ball must be replaced after it was lifted or moved, your original ball must be used.

Exception - Another ball may be used when:

  • You cannot recover your original ball with reasonable effort and in a few seconds,
  • Your original ball is cut or cracked,
  • You are resuming play after a suspension, or
  • Your original ball was played by another player as a wrong ball.
b
Who Must Replace Ball and How It Must Be Replaced

Your ball must be replaced under the Rules only by you or any other person who lifted your ball or caused it to move.

If you play a ball that was replaced in a wrong way or replaced by someone not allowed to do so, you get one penalty stroke.

c
Spot Where Ball Is Replaced

Your ball must be replaced on its original spot (which if not known must be estimated) except when the Rules require you to replace your ball on a different spot.

If your ball was at rest on, under or against any immovable obstruction, integral object, boundary object or growing or attached natural object:

  • The "spot" of your ball includes its vertical location relative to the ground.
  • This means that your ball must be replaced on its original spot on, under or against such object.
d
Where to Replace Ball When Original Lie Altered

If the lie of your ball that has been lifted or moved is altered, you must replace the ball in this way:

  • Ball in Sand:
    • You must re-create the original lie as much as possible.
    • In re-creating the lie, you may leave a small part of the ball visible if the ball had been covered by sand.
    If you fail to re-create the lie in breach of this Rule, you have played from a wrong place.
  • Ball Anywhere Except in Sand: You must replace the ball by placing it on the nearest spot with a lie most similar to the original lie that is:
    • Within one club-length from its original spot (which if not known must be estimated)
    • Not nearer the hole, and
    • In the same area of the course as that spot.

If you know that the original lie was altered but do not know what the lie was, you must estimate the original lie and replace your ball.

Exception - For Lies Altered While Play is Stopped and Ball Has Been Lifted, see Rule 5.7d.

e
What to Do If Replaced Ball Does Not Stay on Original Spot

If you try to replace your ball but it does not stay on its original spot, you must try a second time.

If your ball again does not stay on that spot, you must replace the ball by placing it on the nearest spot where it will stay at rest, but with these limits depending on where the original spot is located:

  • The spot must not be nearer the hole.
  • Original spot in general area - the nearest spot must be in the general area.
  • Original spot in bunker or penalty area - the nearest spot must be either in the same bunker or in the same penalty area.
  • Original spot on putting green - the nearest spot must be either on the putting green or in the general area.

Penalty for Playing Incorrectly Substituted Ball or Playing Ball from a Wrong Place in Breach of Rule 14.2: General Penalty.

14.3
Dropping Ball in Relief Area
a
Original Ball or Another Ball May Be Used

You may use any ball each time you drop or place a ball under this Rule.

b
Ball Must Be Dropped in Right Way

You must drop a ball in the right way, which means all three of these things:

  • You must drop the ball (neither your caddie nor anyone else may do so).
  • You must let go of your ball from a location at knee height so that the ball:
    • Falls straight down, without you throwing, spinning or rolling it or using any other motion that might affect where your ball will come to rest, and
    • Does not touch any part of your body or equipment before it hits the ground.
    "Knee height" means the height of your knee when in a standing position.
    • The ball must be dropped in the relief area. You may stand either inside or outside the relief area when dropping your ball.

    If your ball is dropped in a wrong way in breach of one or more of these three requirements, you must drop your ball again in the right way, and there is no limit to the number of times you must do so.

    A ball dropped in the wrong way does not count as one of the two drops required before your ball must be placed.

    See Full Rules For information on making a stroke at a ball dropped in a wrong way and whether one penalty stroke or the general penalty applies.

    c
    Ball Dropped in Right Way Must Come to Rest in Relief Area

    This Rule applies only when a ball is dropped in the right way under Rule 14.3b.

    When You Have Completed Taking Relief. You have only completed taking relief when your ball dropped in the right way comes to rest in the relief area.

    It does not matter whether your ball, after hitting the ground, touches any person, equipment or other outside influence before coming to rest:

    • If your ball comes to rest in the relief area, you have completed taking relief and must play the ball as it lies.
    • If your ball comes to rest outside the relief area, see below "What to Do if Ball Dropped in Right Way Comes to Rest Outside Relief Area".

    In either case, there is no penalty to any player.

    Exception - When Ball Dropped in Right Way is Deliberately Deflected or Stopped by Any Person

    What to Do if Ball Dropped in Right Way Comes to Rest Outside Relief Area. You must drop a ball in the right way a second time, and if that ball also comes to rest outside the relief area, you must then complete taking relief by:

    • Placing a ball on the spot where the ball dropped the second time first touched the ground.
    • If the placed ball does not stay at rest on that spot, you must place a ball on that spot a second time.
    • If the ball placed a second time also does not stay on that spot, you must place a ball on the nearest spot where the ball will stay at rest, subject to the limits in Rule 14.2e.
    d
    What to Do if Ball Dropped in Right Way is Deliberately Deflected or Stopped by Person

    See Full Rules For information on what to do if you have dropped your ball in the right way but it has been deliberately deflected or stopped.

    Penalty for Playing Ball from a Wrong Place or Playing Ball that was Placed Instead of Dropped in Breach of Rule 14.3: General Penalty.

    14.4
    When Your Ball is Back in Play after Your Original Ball Was Out of Play

    See Full Rules For information on when your ball is back in play, including when you substitute a ball but this is not allowed or you use a procedure that does not apply.

    14.5
    Correcting Mistake Made in Substituting, Replacing, Dropping or Placing Your Ball

    You may lift your ball without penalty and correct your mistake before playing your ball:

    • When you have substituted another ball for the original ball when not allowed, or
    • When you have replaced, dropped or placed your ball (1) in a wrong place or it came to rest in a wrong place, (2) in a wrong way or (3) by using a procedure that did not apply.

    See Full Rules For more information on correcting a mistake before your ball is played.

    14.6
    Making Next Stroke from Where Previous Stroke Made

    This Rule applies whenever you are required or allowed to make your next stroke from where a previous stroke was made (that is, when taking stroke-and-distance relief, or playing again after a stroke that is cancelled or otherwise does not count).

    a
    Previous Stroke Made from Teeing Area

    Your original ball or another ball must be played from anywhere inside the teeing area (and may be teed).

    b
    Previous Stroke Made from General Area, Penalty Area or Bunker

    Your original ball or another ball must be dropped in this relief area:

    • Reference Point: The spot where your previous stroke was made (which if not known must be estimated).
    • Size of Relief Area Measured from Reference Point: One club-length, but with these limits:
    • Limits on Location of Relief Area:
      • Must be in the same area of the course as your reference point, and
      • Must not be nearer the hole than your reference point.
    c
    Previous Stroke Made from Putting Green

    Your original ball or another ball must be placed on the spot where your previous stroke was made (which if not known must be estimated).

    Penalty for Playing Ball from a Wrong Place in Breach of Rule 14.6: General Penalty.

    14.7
    Playing from Wrong Place
    a
    Place from Where Ball Must Be Played

    After starting  a hole you must make each stroke from where your ball comes to rest, except when the Rules require or allow you to play a ball from another place.

    Penalty for Playing Ball from a Wrong Place in Breach of Rule 14.7a: General Penalty.

    b
    How to Complete a Hole after Playing from Wrong Place in Stroke Play

    If you have played from a wrong place but it is not a serious breach, you get the general penalty under Rule 14.7a and must continue play of the hole with the ball played from the wrong place.

    If you have played from a wrong place and it is a serious breach, you must correct the mistake by playing out the hole from the right place. If you don't correct the mistake, you are disqualified.

    See Full Rules For an explanation of what to do when your playing from a wrong place is a serious breach, or if you are not sure if it is a serious breach.

    Replace

    To place a ball by setting it down and letting it go, with the intent for it to be in play.

    Mark

    To show the spot where a ball is at rest by either placing a ball-marker right behind or right next to the ball, or holding a club on the ground right behind or right next to the ball.

    Ball-Marker

    An artificial object when used to mark the spot of your ball to be lifted, such as a tee, a coin, an object made to be a ball-marker or another small piece of equipment.

    Mark

    To show the spot where a ball is at rest by either placing a ball-marker right behind or right next to the ball, or holding a club on the ground right behind or right next to the ball.

    Mark

    To show the spot where a ball is at rest by either placing a ball-marker right behind or right next to the ball, or holding a club on the ground right behind or right next to the ball.

    Stroke

    The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball.

    Ball-Marker

    An artificial object when used to mark the spot of your ball to be lifted, such as a tee, a coin, an object made to be a ball-marker or another small piece of equipment.

    Mark

    To show the spot where a ball is at rest by either placing a ball-marker right behind or right next to the ball, or holding a club on the ground right behind or right next to the ball.

    Round

    18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee.

    Putting Green

    The area on the hole you are playing that is specially prepared for putting, or the Committee has defined as the putting green (such as when a temporary green is used).

    Replace

    To place a ball by setting it down and letting it go, with the intent for it to be in play.

    Moved

    When your ball at rest has left its original spot and come to rest on any other spot, and this can be seen by the naked eye (whether or not anyone actually sees it do so).

    This applies whether your ball has gone up, down or horizontally in any direction away from its original spot.

    If your ball only wobbles (sometimes referred to as oscillating) and stays on or returns to its original spot, your ball has not moved.

    Wrong Ball

    Any ball other than your:

    • Ball in play (whether your original ball or a substituted ball),
    • Provisional ball (before you abandon it under Rule 18.3c), or
    • Second ball in stroke play played under Rules 14.7b or 20.1c.

    Examples of a wrong ball are another player's ball in play, a stray ball, and your own ball that is out of bounds, has become lost or has been lifted and not yet put back in play.

    Replace

    To place a ball by setting it down and letting it go, with the intent for it to be in play.

    Moved

    When your ball at rest has left its original spot and come to rest on any other spot, and this can be seen by the naked eye (whether or not anyone actually sees it do so).

    This applies whether your ball has gone up, down or horizontally in any direction away from its original spot.

    If your ball only wobbles (sometimes referred to as oscillating) and stays on or returns to its original spot, your ball has not moved.

    Replace

    To place a ball by setting it down and letting it go, with the intent for it to be in play.

    Replace

    To place a ball by setting it down and letting it go, with the intent for it to be in play.

    Replace

    To place a ball by setting it down and letting it go, with the intent for it to be in play.

    Replace

    To place a ball by setting it down and letting it go, with the intent for it to be in play.

    Immovable Obstruction

    Any obstruction that cannot be moved without unreasonable effort or without damaging the obstruction or the course, and otherwise does not meet the definition of a movable obstruction.

    Integral Object

    An artificial object defined by the Committee as part of the challenge of playing the course from which free relief is not allowed.

    Artificial objects defined by the Committee as integral objects are treated as immovable (see Rule 8.1a). But if part of an integral object (such as a gate or door or part of an attached cable) meets the definition of movable obstruction, that part is treated as a movable obstruction.

    Integral objects are not obstructions or boundary objects.

    Boundary Object

    Artificial objects defining or showing out of bounds, such as walls, fences, stakes and railings, from which free relief is not allowed.

    This includes any base and post of a boundary fence, but does not include angled supports or guy wires that are attached to a wall or fence, or any steps, bridge or similar construction used for getting over the wall or fence.

    Boundary objects are treated as immovable even if they are movable or any part of them is movable (see Rule 8.1a).

    Boundary objects are not obstructions or integral objects.

    Replace

    To place a ball by setting it down and letting it go, with the intent for it to be in play.

    Lie

    The spot on which your ball is at rest and any growing or attached natural object, immovable obstruction, integral object, or boundary object touching your ball or right next to it. Loose impediments and movable obstructions are not part of the lie of a ball.

    Moved

    When your ball at rest has left its original spot and come to rest on any other spot, and this can be seen by the naked eye (whether or not anyone actually sees it do so).

    This applies whether your ball has gone up, down or horizontally in any direction away from its original spot.

    If your ball only wobbles (sometimes referred to as oscillating) and stays on or returns to its original spot, your ball has not moved.

    Replace

    To place a ball by setting it down and letting it go, with the intent for it to be in play.

    Lie

    The spot on which your ball is at rest and any growing or attached natural object, immovable obstruction, integral object, or boundary object touching your ball or right next to it. Loose impediments and movable obstructions are not part of the lie of a ball.

    Lie

    The spot on which your ball is at rest and any growing or attached natural object, immovable obstruction, integral object, or boundary object touching your ball or right next to it. Loose impediments and movable obstructions are not part of the lie of a ball.

    Lie

    The spot on which your ball is at rest and any growing or attached natural object, immovable obstruction, integral object, or boundary object touching your ball or right next to it. Loose impediments and movable obstructions are not part of the lie of a ball.

    Wrong Place

    Any place on the course other than where you are required or allowed to play your ball under the Rules.

    Replace

    To place a ball by setting it down and letting it go, with the intent for it to be in play.

    Lie

    The spot on which your ball is at rest and any growing or attached natural object, immovable obstruction, integral object, or boundary object touching your ball or right next to it. Loose impediments and movable obstructions are not part of the lie of a ball.

    Lie

    The spot on which your ball is at rest and any growing or attached natural object, immovable obstruction, integral object, or boundary object touching your ball or right next to it. Loose impediments and movable obstructions are not part of the lie of a ball.

    Club-Length

    The length of the longest club of the 14 (or fewer) clubs you have during the round (as allowed by Rule 4.1b(1)), other than a putter. For example, if the longest club (other than a putter) you have during a round is a 43-inch (109.22 cm) driver, a club-length is 43 inches for you for that round.

    Hole

    The finishing point on the putting green for the hole you are playing.

    Areas of the Course

    The five defined areas that make up the course: (1) the general area, (2) the teeing area you must play from in starting the hole you are playing, (3) all penalty areas, (4) all bunkers, and (5) the putting green of the hole you are playing.

    Lie

    The spot on which your ball is at rest and any growing or attached natural object, immovable obstruction, integral object, or boundary object touching your ball or right next to it. Loose impediments and movable obstructions are not part of the lie of a ball.

    Lie

    The spot on which your ball is at rest and any growing or attached natural object, immovable obstruction, integral object, or boundary object touching your ball or right next to it. Loose impediments and movable obstructions are not part of the lie of a ball.

    Lie

    The spot on which your ball is at rest and any growing or attached natural object, immovable obstruction, integral object, or boundary object touching your ball or right next to it. Loose impediments and movable obstructions are not part of the lie of a ball.

    Replace

    To place a ball by setting it down and letting it go, with the intent for it to be in play.

    Replace

    To place a ball by setting it down and letting it go, with the intent for it to be in play.

    Replace

    To place a ball by setting it down and letting it go, with the intent for it to be in play.

    Hole

    The finishing point on the putting green for the hole you are playing.

    General Area

    The area of the course that covers all of the course except for the other four defined areas: (1) the teeing area you must play from in starting the hole you are playing, (2) all penalty areas, (3) all bunkers, and (4) the putting green of the hole you are playing.

    The general area includes all teeing locations on the course other than the teeing area, and all wrong greens.

    General Area

    The area of the course that covers all of the course except for the other four defined areas: (1) the teeing area you must play from in starting the hole you are playing, (2) all penalty areas, (3) all bunkers, and (4) the putting green of the hole you are playing.

    The general area includes all teeing locations on the course other than the teeing area, and all wrong greens.

    Bunker

    A specially prepared area of sand, which is often a hollow from which turf or soil was removed. These are not part of a bunker:

    • A lip, wall or face at the edge of a prepared area and consisting of soil, grass, stacked turf or artificial materials,
    • Soil or any growing or attached natural object inside the edge of a prepared area (such as grass, bushes or trees),
    • Sand that has spilled over or is outside the edge of a prepared area, and
    • All other areas of sand on the course that are not inside the edge of a prepared area (such as deserts and other natural sand areas or areas sometimes referred to as waste areas).
    Penalty Area

    An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if your ball comes to rest there.

    There are two different types of penalty areas, distinguished by the colour used to mark them:

    • Yellow penalty areas (marked with yellow lines or yellow stakes) give you two relief options (Rules 17.1d(1) and (2)).
    • Red penalty areas (marked with red lines or red stakes) give you an extra lateral relief option (Rule 17.1d(3)), in addition to the two relief options available for yellow penalty areas.

    If the colour of a penalty area has not been marked or indicated by the Committee, it is treated as a red penalty area.

    The edge of a penalty area extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

    The edge of a penalty area should be defined by stakes or lines.

    • Stakes: When defined by stakes, the edge of the penalty area is defined by the line between the outside points of the stakes at ground level, and the stakes are inside the penalty area.
    • Lines: When defined by a painted line on the ground, the edge of the penalty area is the outside edge of the line, and the line itself is in the penalty area.
    Bunker

    A specially prepared area of sand, which is often a hollow from which turf or soil was removed. These are not part of a bunker:

    • A lip, wall or face at the edge of a prepared area and consisting of soil, grass, stacked turf or artificial materials,
    • Soil or any growing or attached natural object inside the edge of a prepared area (such as grass, bushes or trees),
    • Sand that has spilled over or is outside the edge of a prepared area, and
    • All other areas of sand on the course that are not inside the edge of a prepared area (such as deserts and other natural sand areas or areas sometimes referred to as waste areas).
    Penalty Area

    An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if your ball comes to rest there.

    There are two different types of penalty areas, distinguished by the colour used to mark them:

    • Yellow penalty areas (marked with yellow lines or yellow stakes) give you two relief options (Rules 17.1d(1) and (2)).
    • Red penalty areas (marked with red lines or red stakes) give you an extra lateral relief option (Rule 17.1d(3)), in addition to the two relief options available for yellow penalty areas.

    If the colour of a penalty area has not been marked or indicated by the Committee, it is treated as a red penalty area.

    The edge of a penalty area extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

    The edge of a penalty area should be defined by stakes or lines.

    • Stakes: When defined by stakes, the edge of the penalty area is defined by the line between the outside points of the stakes at ground level, and the stakes are inside the penalty area.
    • Lines: When defined by a painted line on the ground, the edge of the penalty area is the outside edge of the line, and the line itself is in the penalty area.
    Putting Green

    The area on the hole you are playing that is specially prepared for putting, or the Committee has defined as the putting green (such as when a temporary green is used).

    Putting Green

    The area on the hole you are playing that is specially prepared for putting, or the Committee has defined as the putting green (such as when a temporary green is used).

    General Area

    The area of the course that covers all of the course except for the other four defined areas: (1) the teeing area you must play from in starting the hole you are playing, (2) all penalty areas, (3) all bunkers, and (4) the putting green of the hole you are playing.

    The general area includes all teeing locations on the course other than the teeing area, and all wrong greens.

    Substitute

    To change the ball you are using to play a hole by having another ball become your ball in play.

    Wrong Place

    Any place on the course other than where you are required or allowed to play your ball under the Rules.

    General Penalty

    Loss of hole in match play or two penalty strokes in stroke play.

    Drop

    To hold the ball and let go of it so that it falls through the air, with the intent for the ball to be in play. Each relief Rule identifies a specific relief area where your ball must be dropped and come to rest.

    In taking relief, you must let go of the ball from a location at knee height so that the ball:

    • Falls straight down, without you throwing, spinning or rolling it or using any other motion that might affect where the ball will come to rest, and
    • Does not touch any part of your body or equipment before it hits the ground (see Rule 14.3b).
    Drop

    To hold the ball and let go of it so that it falls through the air, with the intent for the ball to be in play. Each relief Rule identifies a specific relief area where your ball must be dropped and come to rest.

    In taking relief, you must let go of the ball from a location at knee height so that the ball:

    • Falls straight down, without you throwing, spinning or rolling it or using any other motion that might affect where the ball will come to rest, and
    • Does not touch any part of your body or equipment before it hits the ground (see Rule 14.3b).
    Drop

    To hold the ball and let go of it so that it falls through the air, with the intent for the ball to be in play. Each relief Rule identifies a specific relief area where your ball must be dropped and come to rest.

    In taking relief, you must let go of the ball from a location at knee height so that the ball:

    • Falls straight down, without you throwing, spinning or rolling it or using any other motion that might affect where the ball will come to rest, and
    • Does not touch any part of your body or equipment before it hits the ground (see Rule 14.3b).
    Caddie

    Someone who helps you during a round to carry, transport or handle your clubs and/or give you advice. A caddie may also help you in other ways allowed by the Rules (see Rule 10.3b).

    Equipment

    Anything used, worn, held or carried by you or your caddie. Objects used for the care of the course, such as rakes, are equipment only while they are being held or carried by you or your caddie.

    Drop

    To hold the ball and let go of it so that it falls through the air, with the intent for the ball to be in play. Each relief Rule identifies a specific relief area where your ball must be dropped and come to rest.

    In taking relief, you must let go of the ball from a location at knee height so that the ball:

    • Falls straight down, without you throwing, spinning or rolling it or using any other motion that might affect where the ball will come to rest, and
    • Does not touch any part of your body or equipment before it hits the ground (see Rule 14.3b).
    Relief Area

    The area where you must drop a ball when taking relief under a Rule. Each relief Rule requires you to use a specific relief area whose size and location are based on these three factors:

    • Reference Point: The point from which the size of relief area is measured.
    • Size of Relief Area Measured from Reference Point: The relief area is either one or two club-lengths from the reference point, but with certain limits:
    • Limits on Location of Relief Area: The location of the relief area may be limited in one or more ways so that, for example:
      • It is only in certain defined areas of the course, such as only in the general area, or not in a bunker or a penalty area,
      • It is not nearer the hole than your reference point or must be outside a penalty area or a bunker from which you are taking relief, or
      • It is where there is no interference (as defined in the particular Rule) from the condition from which you are taking relief.
    Relief Area

    The area where you must drop a ball when taking relief under a Rule. Each relief Rule requires you to use a specific relief area whose size and location are based on these three factors:

    • Reference Point: The point from which the size of relief area is measured.
    • Size of Relief Area Measured from Reference Point: The relief area is either one or two club-lengths from the reference point, but with certain limits:
    • Limits on Location of Relief Area: The location of the relief area may be limited in one or more ways so that, for example:
      • It is only in certain defined areas of the course, such as only in the general area, or not in a bunker or a penalty area,
      • It is not nearer the hole than your reference point or must be outside a penalty area or a bunker from which you are taking relief, or
      • It is where there is no interference (as defined in the particular Rule) from the condition from which you are taking relief.
    Drop

    To hold the ball and let go of it so that it falls through the air, with the intent for the ball to be in play. Each relief Rule identifies a specific relief area where your ball must be dropped and come to rest.

    In taking relief, you must let go of the ball from a location at knee height so that the ball:

    • Falls straight down, without you throwing, spinning or rolling it or using any other motion that might affect where the ball will come to rest, and
    • Does not touch any part of your body or equipment before it hits the ground (see Rule 14.3b).
    Drop

    To hold the ball and let go of it so that it falls through the air, with the intent for the ball to be in play. Each relief Rule identifies a specific relief area where your ball must be dropped and come to rest.

    In taking relief, you must let go of the ball from a location at knee height so that the ball:

    • Falls straight down, without you throwing, spinning or rolling it or using any other motion that might affect where the ball will come to rest, and
    • Does not touch any part of your body or equipment before it hits the ground (see Rule 14.3b).
    Drop

    To hold the ball and let go of it so that it falls through the air, with the intent for the ball to be in play. Each relief Rule identifies a specific relief area where your ball must be dropped and come to rest.

    In taking relief, you must let go of the ball from a location at knee height so that the ball:

    • Falls straight down, without you throwing, spinning or rolling it or using any other motion that might affect where the ball will come to rest, and
    • Does not touch any part of your body or equipment before it hits the ground (see Rule 14.3b).
    Drop

    To hold the ball and let go of it so that it falls through the air, with the intent for the ball to be in play. Each relief Rule identifies a specific relief area where your ball must be dropped and come to rest.

    In taking relief, you must let go of the ball from a location at knee height so that the ball:

    • Falls straight down, without you throwing, spinning or rolling it or using any other motion that might affect where the ball will come to rest, and
    • Does not touch any part of your body or equipment before it hits the ground (see Rule 14.3b).
    Drop

    To hold the ball and let go of it so that it falls through the air, with the intent for the ball to be in play. Each relief Rule identifies a specific relief area where your ball must be dropped and come to rest.

    In taking relief, you must let go of the ball from a location at knee height so that the ball:

    • Falls straight down, without you throwing, spinning or rolling it or using any other motion that might affect where the ball will come to rest, and
    • Does not touch any part of your body or equipment before it hits the ground (see Rule 14.3b).
    Drop

    To hold the ball and let go of it so that it falls through the air, with the intent for the ball to be in play. Each relief Rule identifies a specific relief area where your ball must be dropped and come to rest.

    In taking relief, you must let go of the ball from a location at knee height so that the ball:

    • Falls straight down, without you throwing, spinning or rolling it or using any other motion that might affect where the ball will come to rest, and
    • Does not touch any part of your body or equipment before it hits the ground (see Rule 14.3b).
    Drop

    To hold the ball and let go of it so that it falls through the air, with the intent for the ball to be in play. Each relief Rule identifies a specific relief area where your ball must be dropped and come to rest.

    In taking relief, you must let go of the ball from a location at knee height so that the ball:

    • Falls straight down, without you throwing, spinning or rolling it or using any other motion that might affect where the ball will come to rest, and
    • Does not touch any part of your body or equipment before it hits the ground (see Rule 14.3b).
    Relief Area

    The area where you must drop a ball when taking relief under a Rule. Each relief Rule requires you to use a specific relief area whose size and location are based on these three factors:

    • Reference Point: The point from which the size of relief area is measured.
    • Size of Relief Area Measured from Reference Point: The relief area is either one or two club-lengths from the reference point, but with certain limits:
    • Limits on Location of Relief Area: The location of the relief area may be limited in one or more ways so that, for example:
      • It is only in certain defined areas of the course, such as only in the general area, or not in a bunker or a penalty area,
      • It is not nearer the hole than your reference point or must be outside a penalty area or a bunker from which you are taking relief, or
      • It is where there is no interference (as defined in the particular Rule) from the condition from which you are taking relief.
    Equipment

    Anything used, worn, held or carried by you or your caddie. Objects used for the care of the course, such as rakes, are equipment only while they are being held or carried by you or your caddie.

    Outside Influence

    Any of these people or things that can affect what happens to your ball or equipment or to the course:

    • Any person (including another player), except you or your caddie or your partner or opponent or any of their caddies,
    • Any animal, and
    • Any natural or artificial object or anything else (including another ball in motion), except for natural forces.
    Relief Area

    The area where you must drop a ball when taking relief under a Rule. Each relief Rule requires you to use a specific relief area whose size and location are based on these three factors:

    • Reference Point: The point from which the size of relief area is measured.
    • Size of Relief Area Measured from Reference Point: The relief area is either one or two club-lengths from the reference point, but with certain limits:
    • Limits on Location of Relief Area: The location of the relief area may be limited in one or more ways so that, for example:
      • It is only in certain defined areas of the course, such as only in the general area, or not in a bunker or a penalty area,
      • It is not nearer the hole than your reference point or must be outside a penalty area or a bunker from which you are taking relief, or
      • It is where there is no interference (as defined in the particular Rule) from the condition from which you are taking relief.
    Relief Area

    The area where you must drop a ball when taking relief under a Rule. Each relief Rule requires you to use a specific relief area whose size and location are based on these three factors:

    • Reference Point: The point from which the size of relief area is measured.
    • Size of Relief Area Measured from Reference Point: The relief area is either one or two club-lengths from the reference point, but with certain limits:
    • Limits on Location of Relief Area: The location of the relief area may be limited in one or more ways so that, for example:
      • It is only in certain defined areas of the course, such as only in the general area, or not in a bunker or a penalty area,
      • It is not nearer the hole than your reference point or must be outside a penalty area or a bunker from which you are taking relief, or
      • It is where there is no interference (as defined in the particular Rule) from the condition from which you are taking relief.
    Drop

    To hold the ball and let go of it so that it falls through the air, with the intent for the ball to be in play. Each relief Rule identifies a specific relief area where your ball must be dropped and come to rest.

    In taking relief, you must let go of the ball from a location at knee height so that the ball:

    • Falls straight down, without you throwing, spinning or rolling it or using any other motion that might affect where the ball will come to rest, and
    • Does not touch any part of your body or equipment before it hits the ground (see Rule 14.3b).
    Relief Area

    The area where you must drop a ball when taking relief under a Rule. Each relief Rule requires you to use a specific relief area whose size and location are based on these three factors:

    • Reference Point: The point from which the size of relief area is measured.
    • Size of Relief Area Measured from Reference Point: The relief area is either one or two club-lengths from the reference point, but with certain limits:
    • Limits on Location of Relief Area: The location of the relief area may be limited in one or more ways so that, for example:
      • It is only in certain defined areas of the course, such as only in the general area, or not in a bunker or a penalty area,
      • It is not nearer the hole than your reference point or must be outside a penalty area or a bunker from which you are taking relief, or
      • It is where there is no interference (as defined in the particular Rule) from the condition from which you are taking relief.
    Drop

    To hold the ball and let go of it so that it falls through the air, with the intent for the ball to be in play. Each relief Rule identifies a specific relief area where your ball must be dropped and come to rest.

    In taking relief, you must let go of the ball from a location at knee height so that the ball:

    • Falls straight down, without you throwing, spinning or rolling it or using any other motion that might affect where the ball will come to rest, and
    • Does not touch any part of your body or equipment before it hits the ground (see Rule 14.3b).
    Wrong Place

    Any place on the course other than where you are required or allowed to play your ball under the Rules.

    Drop

    To hold the ball and let go of it so that it falls through the air, with the intent for the ball to be in play. Each relief Rule identifies a specific relief area where your ball must be dropped and come to rest.

    In taking relief, you must let go of the ball from a location at knee height so that the ball:

    • Falls straight down, without you throwing, spinning or rolling it or using any other motion that might affect where the ball will come to rest, and
    • Does not touch any part of your body or equipment before it hits the ground (see Rule 14.3b).
    General Penalty

    Loss of hole in match play or two penalty strokes in stroke play.

    Substitute

    To change the ball you are using to play a hole by having another ball become your ball in play.

    Replace

    To place a ball by setting it down and letting it go, with the intent for it to be in play.

    Drop

    To hold the ball and let go of it so that it falls through the air, with the intent for the ball to be in play. Each relief Rule identifies a specific relief area where your ball must be dropped and come to rest.

    In taking relief, you must let go of the ball from a location at knee height so that the ball:

    • Falls straight down, without you throwing, spinning or rolling it or using any other motion that might affect where the ball will come to rest, and
    • Does not touch any part of your body or equipment before it hits the ground (see Rule 14.3b).
    Wrong Place

    Any place on the course other than where you are required or allowed to play your ball under the Rules.

    Wrong Place

    Any place on the course other than where you are required or allowed to play your ball under the Rules.

    Stroke

    The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball.

    Stroke

    The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball.

    Stroke and Distance

    The procedure and penalty when you take relief under Rules 17, 18 or 19 by playing a ball from where your previous stroke was made (see Rule 14.6).

    Stroke

    The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball.

    Teeing Area

    The area you must play from in starting the hole you are playing. The teeing area is a rectangle that is two club-lengths deep where:

    • The front edge is defined by the line between the forward-most points of two tee-markers set by the Committee, and
    • The side edges are defined by the lines back from the outside points of the tee-markers.
    Drop

    To hold the ball and let go of it so that it falls through the air, with the intent for the ball to be in play. Each relief Rule identifies a specific relief area where your ball must be dropped and come to rest.

    In taking relief, you must let go of the ball from a location at knee height so that the ball:

    • Falls straight down, without you throwing, spinning or rolling it or using any other motion that might affect where the ball will come to rest, and
    • Does not touch any part of your body or equipment before it hits the ground (see Rule 14.3b).
    Relief Area

    The area where you must drop a ball when taking relief under a Rule. Each relief Rule requires you to use a specific relief area whose size and location are based on these three factors:

    • Reference Point: The point from which the size of relief area is measured.
    • Size of Relief Area Measured from Reference Point: The relief area is either one or two club-lengths from the reference point, but with certain limits:
    • Limits on Location of Relief Area: The location of the relief area may be limited in one or more ways so that, for example:
      • It is only in certain defined areas of the course, such as only in the general area, or not in a bunker or a penalty area,
      • It is not nearer the hole than your reference point or must be outside a penalty area or a bunker from which you are taking relief, or
      • It is where there is no interference (as defined in the particular Rule) from the condition from which you are taking relief.
    Stroke

    The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball.

    Relief Area

    The area where you must drop a ball when taking relief under a Rule. Each relief Rule requires you to use a specific relief area whose size and location are based on these three factors:

    • Reference Point: The point from which the size of relief area is measured.
    • Size of Relief Area Measured from Reference Point: The relief area is either one or two club-lengths from the reference point, but with certain limits:
    • Limits on Location of Relief Area: The location of the relief area may be limited in one or more ways so that, for example:
      • It is only in certain defined areas of the course, such as only in the general area, or not in a bunker or a penalty area,
      • It is not nearer the hole than your reference point or must be outside a penalty area or a bunker from which you are taking relief, or
      • It is where there is no interference (as defined in the particular Rule) from the condition from which you are taking relief.
    Club-Length

    The length of the longest club of the 14 (or fewer) clubs you have during the round (as allowed by Rule 4.1b(1)), other than a putter. For example, if the longest club (other than a putter) you have during a round is a 43-inch (109.22 cm) driver, a club-length is 43 inches for you for that round.

    Relief Area

    The area where you must drop a ball when taking relief under a Rule. Each relief Rule requires you to use a specific relief area whose size and location are based on these three factors:

    • Reference Point: The point from which the size of relief area is measured.
    • Size of Relief Area Measured from Reference Point: The relief area is either one or two club-lengths from the reference point, but with certain limits:
    • Limits on Location of Relief Area: The location of the relief area may be limited in one or more ways so that, for example:
      • It is only in certain defined areas of the course, such as only in the general area, or not in a bunker or a penalty area,
      • It is not nearer the hole than your reference point or must be outside a penalty area or a bunker from which you are taking relief, or
      • It is where there is no interference (as defined in the particular Rule) from the condition from which you are taking relief.
    Areas of the Course

    The five defined areas that make up the course: (1) the general area, (2) the teeing area you must play from in starting the hole you are playing, (3) all penalty areas, (4) all bunkers, and (5) the putting green of the hole you are playing.

    Hole

    The finishing point on the putting green for the hole you are playing.

    Stroke

    The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball.

    Wrong Place

    Any place on the course other than where you are required or allowed to play your ball under the Rules.

    General Penalty

    Loss of hole in match play or two penalty strokes in stroke play.

    Stroke

    The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball.

    Wrong Place

    Any place on the course other than where you are required or allowed to play your ball under the Rules.

    General Penalty

    Loss of hole in match play or two penalty strokes in stroke play.

    Wrong Place

    Any place on the course other than where you are required or allowed to play your ball under the Rules.

    Serious Breach

    In stroke play, when playing from a wrong place could give you a significant advantage compared to your stroke to be made from the right place.

    General Penalty

    Loss of hole in match play or two penalty strokes in stroke play.

    Wrong Place

    Any place on the course other than where you are required or allowed to play your ball under the Rules.

    Wrong Place

    Any place on the course other than where you are required or allowed to play your ball under the Rules.

    Serious Breach

    In stroke play, when playing from a wrong place could give you a significant advantage compared to your stroke to be made from the right place.