Re-drop Required? Changing clubs after a drop can affect the ruling

Published 28/02/2011 07:20:00

Tim's ball lies in heavy rough near a paved cart path approximately 230 yards from the green. He selects a wedge for his next shot and finds that, when he takes his stance, his heels touch the path. He uses a stance with the wedge to determine his nearest point of relief from the path. He drops into a better lie and is now able to hit a 3-wood, but when he takes his stance with that club, his heels are again touching the path.

Is he required to re-drop from the original point of relief?

No. When taking a free drop from a cart path or other obstruction, a player normally must re-drop if the ball comes to rest in a position where there is still interference by the obstruction (Rule 20-2c). But, in this case, since there is no interference for a stroke with the club originally selected, Tim has the option of playing the ball as it lies or taking another drop.

The definition of "nearest point of relief" states that the player should use the club with which he expects to play his next stroke to simulate the address position and swing for that stroke in order to determine the relief point. However, he is not restricted to using that club if the subsequent lie of the ball makes it expedient to use a different club. The same ruling applies for relief from ground under repair or casual water.

Now What If?

Tim takes relief from a cart path, determining the relief point by using a 3-wood as the club selected for his next stroke. When he takes his drop, the ball rolls into such a bad lie that he would need to hit a wedge. He could hit a wedge without standing on the path, but his stance with a 3-wood puts his heels on the path.

Should he re-drop?

Yes, in fact, Tim is required to re-drop because there is still interference from the path for a stroke with the club used to determine the nearest point of relief.


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