Unplayable ball

by Peter

After driving a ball into undergrowth, the ball is found. There is nowhere reasonable within two club lengths to drop ball and taking back in line is not possible as there is no playable place on that line. Only option is to go back to tee or play as it lies (a really stupid choice.) of course I choose to ‘have a go’! The ball travels two metres into even more horrendous situation, totally unplayable.

Problem is now, where can I drop, as the previous shot location is the near impossible place I had originally?

Can I drop it where I first found the ball for a stroke penalty, then take another stroke and distance penalty back to the tee?

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Oct 11, 2022
Thank You "Anonymous" Commenter!
by: L82toff

The complete answer to the original poster's dilemma, direct from the USGA is as follows:

"If you are in a situation where you don’t want to or don’t think you can play your ball, you always have the option of taking relief under the unplayable ball Rule. The player is the only person who can decide that their ball is unplayable, and this can be done anywhere on the golf course except when your ball lies in a penalty area. If your ball is in a penalty area, your only relief option is to take relief under the penalty area Rule.

When you decide that your ball is unplayable, you have three relief options, all for one penalty stroke. Your first option is to go back to the spot of your previous stroke and play again (stroke and distance relief). Your second option is to go back as far as you’d like and drop on the line from the hole through the spot where the ball lies (back-on-the-line relief). Your third option is to drop anywhere within two club-lengths of where your ball lies, no closer to the hole (lateral relief).

If your ball lies in a bunker, you must remain inside the bunker under options two and three. You also have a fourth option for an extra penalty stroke (two penalty strokes total) which allows you to go back on the line and drop your ball outside the bunker."

Oct 11, 2022
This answer is not correct
by: Anonymous

`Someone stated in May of 2022 that you can take 2 club lengths from the "nearest point of relief" for an unplayable ball. That is NOT correct. You must take relief FROM the lie of the unplayable ball itself.

May 03, 2022
Two-Club Rule
by: Douglas

Hey Peter – well, you’ve compounded your trouble by first choosing "to have a go". That stroke now counts and you’re still in the same predicament you were originally, now, just one more stroke into your round.

When considering the option to take relief from an unplayable lie under penalty of one stroke, you are not taking two club lengths from the point of that unplayable lie, but rather two club lengths from the nearest point of relief no closer to the hole. Just take an angle from where the unplayable ball lies that brings you to a point of relief no closer to the hole, then apply the two-club rule from that spot.

Hope that helps bud!

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