Is a re-drop always required when a dropped ball rolls toward the hole?

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Published 03/05/2011 07:20:00
 

Nick's tee shot ends up at the base of a bush and he takes a drop after declaring his ball unplayable, using the option of dropping within two club-lengths of where the ball lay. The dropped ball rolls forward and comes to rest nearer to the hole than where it hit the ground, but not nearer to the hole than its original position in the bush.

Does Nick need to re-drop the ball?

No. Nick would be required to re-drop only if the ball ended up nearer to the hole than its original position. If he is dropping behind that original position, the ball could roll forward after being dropped without a re-drop being required, unless it meets one of the other conditions for a re-drop (Rule 20-2c), such as rolling more than two club-lengths from where it struck the course. In fact, if Nick re-drops the ball in this situation, he would be penalized two strokes in stroke play or loss of hole in match play. If the drop is from a water hazard or lateral water hazard, a re-drop is required if the ball ends up closer to the hole than the point where the original ball last crossed the margin of the hazard. In taking relief from an immovable obstruction, abnormal ground condition, or wrong putting green, the reference point is the nearest point of relief.

Now What If?

Nick takes a drop after declaring his ball unplayable, using the option of dropping within two club-lengths of where the ball lay. The dropped ball rolls back to the base of the bush, where it originally lay, so that the bush obstructs his swing.

Does Nick get a re-drop?

No, unless the ball ended up closer to the hole than the original position or rolled more than two club-lengths after striking the course when dropped. He must play the ball as it lies or declare the ball unplayable again and take another penalty stroke.




Comments


1.  Excellent article, but of course another "what if". If the player decides to drop a ball on the line between where the ball originally lay and the flag, going back as far as he likes, say 101 yds., and the ball rolls forward 3/4 club lengths, say to 95 yds. and still on the correct line, does the player then have to re-drop the ball? Kind regards.

comment by Henry Lee - 19/03/2015 14:07

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