Rule

16

Player's Edition
See Rules Of Golf
Relief from Abnormal Course Conditions (Including Immovable Obstructions), Dangerous Animal Condition, Embedded Ball
Player's Edition
See Rules Of Golf
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16.1
a
b
c
d
e
f
16.2
16.3
a
b
16.4
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Rule 15
Rule 17

Purpose: Rule 16 covers when and how you may take free relief by playing a ball from a different place, such as when you have interference by an abnormal course condition or a dangerous animal condition.

  • These conditions are not treated as part of your challenge of playing the course, and you are generally allowed free relief except in a penalty area.
  • You normally take relief by dropping a ball in a relief area based on the nearest point of complete relief.

This Rule also covers free relief when your ball is embedded in its own pitch mark in the general area.

16.1
Abnormal Course Conditions (Including Immovable Obstructions)

This Rule covers free relief that is allowed from interference by animal holes, ground under repair, immovable obstructions or temporary water.

These are collectively called abnormal course conditions, but each has a separate Definition.

a
When Relief Is Allowed

Interference exists when any one of these is true:

  • Your ball touches or is in or on an abnormal course condition,
  • An abnormal course condition physically interferes with your area of intended stance or area of intended swing, or
  • Only when your ball is on the putting green, an abnormal course condition on or off the putting green intervenes on your line of play.

There is no free relief from an abnormal course condition when the abnormal course condition is out of bounds or your ball is in a penalty area.

No Relief When Clearly Unreasonable to Play Your Ball. There is no relief:

  • When playing your ball as it lies is clearly unreasonable because of something other than an abnormal course condition (such as, when you are standing on an immovable obstruction but you are unable to make a stroke because of where your ball lies in a bush), or
  • When interference exists only because you choose a club, type of stance or swing or direction of play that is clearly unreasonable under the circumstances.
b
Relief for Ball in General Area

If your ball is in the general area and there is interference by an abnormal course condition on the course, you may take free relief by dropping the original ball or another ball as shown in Diagram 16.1b.

Free relief is allowed when the ball is in the general area and there is interference by an abnormal course condition. The nearest point of complete relief should be identified and a ball must be dropped in and come to rest in the relief area.

Reference Point: The nearest point of complete relief.

Size of Relief Area: One club-length from the reference point.

Limits on Relief Area:
The relief area:

  • Must not be nearer the hole than the reference point, and
  • Must be in the general area.

Player Notes: When taking relief, you must take complete relief from all interference by the abnormal course condition.

c
Relief for Your Ball in Bunker

If your ball is in a bunker and there is interference by an abnormal course condition on the course, you may take either:

  • Free Relief: Under Rule 16.1b, except that:
    • The nearest point of complete relief and the relief area must be in the bunker.
    • If there is no such nearest point of complete relief in the bunker, you may still take this relief, by using the point of maximum available relief in the bunker as the reference point.
  • Penalty Relief by Playing from Outside Bunker (Back-On-the-Line Relief): For one penalty stroke, you may drop a ball as shown in Diagram 16.1c.

The diagram assumes a right-handed player. When there is interference from an abnormal course condition in a bunker, free relief may be taken in the bunker under Rule 16.1b.

Relief may be taken outside the bunker for one penalty stroke. Relief outside the bunker is based on a reference line going straight back from the hole through the spot of the original ball in the bunker.

Reference Point: A point on the course outside the bunker chosen by the player that is on the reference line and is farther from the hole than the original spot (with no limit on how far back on the line).

Size of Relief Area: One club-length from the reference point.

Limits on Relief Area: The relief area:

  • Must not be nearer the hole than the reference point, and
  • May be in any area of the course.

Player Notes: In choosing this reference point, you should indicate the point by using an object (such as a tee).

d
Relief for Ball on Putting Green

If your ball is on the putting green and there is interference by an abnormal course condition, you may take free relief by placing the original ball or another ball as shown in Diagram 16.1d.

The diagram assumes the player is left-handed. When a ball is on the putting green and there is interference by an abnormal course condition, free relief may be taken by placing a ball on the spot of the nearest point of complete relief.

Reference Point: The nearest point of complete relief.

Size of Relief Area: Ball must be placed on the spot of the nearest point of complete relief.

Limits on Relief Area: The nearest point of complete relief must be either:

  • On the putting green, or
  • In the general area.

Player Notes:

  • When taking relief, you must take complete relief from all interference by the abnormal course condition.
  • If there is no such nearest point of complete relief, you may still take this free relief by using the point of maximum available relief as the reference point, which must be either on the putting green or in the general area.
e
Relief for Your Ball Not Found but in or on Abnormal Course Condition

If your ball has not been found and it is known or virtually certain that your ball came to rest in or on an abnormal course condition on the course, you may take relief under Rule 16.1b, c or d. You do this by using the estimated point where the ball last crossed the edge of the abnormal course condition on the course as the reference point.

See Full Rules For more information on how to take relief if your ball is in or on an abnormal course condition but has not been found.

f
Relief Must Be Taken from Interference by No Play Zone in Abnormal Course Condition

In each of these situations, your ball must not be played as it lies:

  • If your ball is in a no play zone that is in an abnormal course condition,you must take relief under Rule 16.1b, c, or d.
  • If your ball is outside a no play zone and a no play zone (whether in an abnormal course condition or in a penalty area) interferes with your area of intended stance or area of intended swing. You must either take relief under Rule 16.1 or, unless your ball is in a penalty area, take unplayable ball relief under Rule 19.

Penalty for Playing Ball from a Wrong Place in Breach of Rule 16.1: General Penalty.

16.2
Dangerous Animal Condition

A "dangerous animal condition" exists when a dangerous animal (such as a poisonous snake or an alligator) near your ball could cause you serious physical injury if you had to play the ball as it lies.

See Full Rules For information on how to take relief from a dangerous animal condition.

16.3
Embedded Ball
a
When Relief Is Allowed

Relief is allowed only when your ball is embedded in the general area. But if your ball is embedded on the putting green, you may mark the spot of your ball, lift and clean it, repair the damage, and replace your ball on its original spot.

Exceptions - When Relief Not Allowed for Ball Embedded in General Area:

  • When your ball is embedded in sand in a part of the general area that is not cut to fairway height or less, or
  • When interference by anything other than your ball being embedded makes your stroke clearly unreasonable (for example, when you are unable to make a stroke because of where your ball lies in a bush).

Your ball is embedded only if it is in its own pitch-mark made as a result of your previous stroke and part of your ball is below the level of the ground.

b
Relief for Embedded Ball

When your ball is embedded in the general area, you may take free relief by dropping the original ball or another ball as shown in Diagram 16.3b.

When a ball is embedded in the general area, free relief may be taken. The reference point for taking relief is the spot right behind where the ball is embedded. A ball must be dropped in and come to rest in the relief area.

Reference Point: The spot right behind where the ball is embedded.

Size of Relief Area: One club-length from the reference point.

Limits on Relief Area: The relief area:

  • Must not be nearer the hole than the reference point, and
  • Must be in the general area.

Penalty for Playing a Ball from a Wrong Place in Breach of Rule 16.3: General Penalty.

16.4
Lifting Your Ball to See If It Lies in Condition Where Relief Allowed

If you reasonably believe that your ball lies in a condition where free relief is allowed under the Rules, but you cannot decide that without lifting your ball, you may mark the spot and lift the ball to see if relief is allowed. The lifted ball must not be cleaned (except when it is on the putting green).

See Full Rules For more information on lifting your ball to see if it lies in a condition where relief is allowed, including the penalty for lifting your ball without reasonable belief.

Animal Hole

Any hole dug in the ground by an animal, except for holes dug by animals that are also defined as loose impediments (such as worms or insects).

The term animal hole includes:

  • The loose material the animal dug out of the hole,
  • Any worn-down track or trail leading into the hole, and
  • Any area on the ground pushed up or altered as a result of the animal digging the hole underground.
Ground Under Repair

Any part of the course the Committee defines to be ground under repair (whether by marking it or otherwise).

Ground under repair also includes the following things, even if the Committee does not define them as such:

  • Any hole made by the Committee or the maintenance staff in:
    • Setting up the course (such as a hole where a stake has been removed or the hole on a double green being used for the play of another hole), or
    • Maintaining the course (such as a hole made in removing turf or a tree stump or laying pipelines, but not including aeration holes).
    • Grass cuttings, leaves and any other material piled for later removal. But:
      • Any natural materials that are piled for removal are also loose impediments, and
      • Any materials left on the course that are not intended to be removed are not ground under repair unless the Committee has defined them as such.
    • Any animal habitat (such as a bird's nest) that is so near your ball that your stroke or stance might damage it, except when the habitat has been made by animals that are defined as loose impediments (such as worms or insects).

    The edge of ground under repair should be defined by stakes or lines:

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

    Temporary Water

    Any temporary accumulation of water on the surface of the ground (such as puddles from rain or irrigation or an overflow from a body of water) that is not in a penalty area, and can be seen before or after you take a stance (without pressing down excessively with your feet).

    It is not enough for the ground to be merely wet, muddy or soft or for the water to be momentarily visible as you step on the ground; an accumulation of water must remain present either before or after your stance is taken.

    Special cases:

    • Dew and frost are not temporary water.
    • Snow and natural ice (other than frost), are either loose impediments or, when on the ground, temporary water, at your option.
    • Manufactured ice is an obstruction.
    Abnormal Course Condition

    An animal hole, ground under repair, an immovable obstruction, or temporary water.

    Abnormal Course Condition

    An animal hole, ground under repair, an immovable obstruction, or temporary water.

    Abnormal Course Condition

    An animal hole, ground under repair, an immovable obstruction, or temporary water.

    Stance

    The position of your feet and body in preparing for and making your stroke.

    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).

    Abnormal Course Condition

    An animal hole, ground under repair, an immovable obstruction, or temporary water.

    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).

    Line of Play

    The line where you intend your ball to go after a stroke, including the area on your line that is a reasonable distance up above the ground and on either side of your line.

    The line of play is not necessarily a straight line between two points (for example, it may be a curved line based on where you intend the ball to go).

    Abnormal Course Condition

    An animal hole, ground under repair, an immovable obstruction, or temporary water.

    Abnormal Course Condition

    An animal hole, ground under repair, an immovable obstruction, or temporary water.

    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.
    Abnormal Course Condition

    An animal hole, ground under repair, an immovable obstruction, or temporary water.

    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.

    Stroke

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

    Stance

    The position of your feet and body in preparing for and making your stroke.

    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.

    Abnormal Course Condition

    An animal hole, ground under repair, an immovable obstruction, or temporary water.

    Course

    The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

    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).
    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).
    Abnormal Course Condition

    An animal hole, ground under repair, an immovable obstruction, or temporary water.

    Course

    The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

    Nearest Point of Complete Relief

    Your reference point for taking free relief from an abnormal course condition (Rule 16.1), dangerous animal condition (Rule 16.2), wrong green (Rule 13.1f) or no play zone (Rules 16.1f and 17.1e), or in taking relief under certain Local Rules.

    It is the estimated point where your ball would lie that is:

    • Nearest to your ball's original spot, but not nearer the hole than that spot,
    • In the required area of the course, and
    • Where the condition does not interfere with the stroke you would have made from the original spot if the condition was not there.

    Estimating this reference point requires you to identify the choice of club, stance, swing and line of play you would have used for that stroke.

    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.
    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).
    Nearest Point of Complete Relief

    Your reference point for taking free relief from an abnormal course condition (Rule 16.1), dangerous animal condition (Rule 16.2), wrong green (Rule 13.1f) or no play zone (Rules 16.1f and 17.1e), or in taking relief under certain Local Rules.

    It is the estimated point where your ball would lie that is:

    • Nearest to your ball's original spot, but not nearer the hole than that spot,
    • In the required area of the course, and
    • Where the condition does not interfere with the stroke you would have made from the original spot if the condition was not there.

    Estimating this reference point requires you to identify the choice of club, stance, swing and line of play you would have used for that stroke.

    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).
    Point of Maximum Available Relief

    Your reference point for taking free relief from an abnormal course condition in a bunker (Rule 16.1c) or on the putting green (Rule 16.1d) when there is no nearest point of complete relief.

    It is the estimated point where your ball would lie that is:

    • Nearest to your ball's original spot, but not nearer the hole than that spot,
    • In the required area of the course, and
    • Where that abnormal course condition least interferes with the stroke you would have made from the original spot if the condition was not there.

    Estimating this reference point requires you to identify the choice of club, stance, swing and line of play you would have used for that stroke.

    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).
    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).
    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).

    Abnormal Course Condition

    An animal hole, ground under repair, an immovable obstruction, or temporary water.

    Known or Virtually Certain

    The standard for deciding what happened to your ball - for example, whether your ball came to rest in a penalty area, whether it moved or what caused it to move.

    Known or virtually certain means more than just possible or probable. It means that either:

    • There is conclusive evidence that the event in question happened to your ball, such as when you or other witnesses saw it happen, or
    • Although there is a very small degree of doubt, all reasonably available information shows that it is at least 95% likely that the event in question happened.
    Abnormal Course Condition

    An animal hole, ground under repair, an immovable obstruction, or temporary water.

    Course

    The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

    Abnormal Course Condition

    An animal hole, ground under repair, an immovable obstruction, or temporary water.

    Course

    The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

    No Play Zone

    A part of the course where the Committee has prohibited play. A no play zone must be defined as part of either an abnormal course condition or a penalty area.

    Abnormal Course Condition

    An animal hole, ground under repair, an immovable obstruction, or temporary water.

    No Play Zone

    A part of the course where the Committee has prohibited play. A no play zone must be defined as part of either an abnormal course condition or a penalty area.

    No Play Zone

    A part of the course where the Committee has prohibited play. A no play zone must be defined as part of either an abnormal course condition or a penalty area.

    Abnormal Course Condition

    An animal hole, ground under repair, an immovable obstruction, or temporary water.

    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.
    Stance

    The position of your feet and body in preparing for and making your stroke.

    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.
    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.

    Animal

    Any living member of the animal kingdom (other than humans).

    Embedded

    When your ball is in its own pitch-mark made as a result of your previous stroke and where part of the ball is below the level of the ground. Your ball does not necessarily have to touch soil to be embedded (for example, grass and loose impediments may be between your ball and the soil).

    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.

    Embedded

    When your ball is in its own pitch-mark made as a result of your previous stroke and where part of the ball is below the level of the ground. Your ball does not necessarily have to touch soil to be embedded (for example, grass and loose impediments may be between your ball and the soil).

    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).

    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.

    Replace

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

    Embedded

    When your ball is in its own pitch-mark made as a result of your previous stroke and where part of the ball is below the level of the ground. Your ball does not necessarily have to touch soil to be embedded (for example, grass and loose impediments may be between your ball and the soil).

    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.

    Embedded

    When your ball is in its own pitch-mark made as a result of your previous stroke and where part of the ball is below the level of the ground. Your ball does not necessarily have to touch soil to be embedded (for example, grass and loose impediments may be between your ball and the soil).

    Stroke

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

    Stroke

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

    Embedded

    When your ball is in its own pitch-mark made as a result of your previous stroke and where part of the ball is below the level of the ground. Your ball does not necessarily have to touch soil to be embedded (for example, grass and loose impediments may be between your ball and the soil).

    Stroke

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

    Embedded

    When your ball is in its own pitch-mark made as a result of your previous stroke and where part of the ball is below the level of the ground. Your ball does not necessarily have to touch soil to be embedded (for example, grass and loose impediments may be between your ball and the soil).

    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.

    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.

    General Penalty

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

    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).