Golf Rules Scenarios

  1. A player’s ball lands in a Penalty area.  They can see their ball under the water, so they take their stance in the water, put their club close to the ball under the water and hit the ball out of the Penalty area.  What is the ruling? 
  2. A player’s ball lies in a bunker and is embedded in the sand. The player wants to take relief using the Rule for an embedded ball.  What is the ruling?
  3. A player hits their ball and they believe their ball went into the Penalty area, a lake.  They decide to hit a Provisional ball in case they might find it.  What is the ruling?  
  4. A player believes their ball that they played from the teeing area may be lost. Once they arrive where they think it may be, they search for the ball for 4 minutes, find it and play it.  What is the ruling?
  5. A player marks their ball on the putting green with their marker and lifts their ball.  They replace their ball ¼ inch ahead of the marker and putt out What is the ruling?
  6. Without informing their fellow players, a player marks the position of   their ball and picks it up to identify it.  The ball is partially covered in mud so they clean their ball to confirm it is theirs and then replace their ball.  What is the ruling? 


  1. Rule 17.1b.  A player may play a ball as it lies in a Penalty area under the same Rules that apply to the General area, which mean there are no special Rules limiting how a ball may be played from a Penalty area. There is no penalty.
  2. Rule 16.3 a. Relief for an embedded ball is only allowed in the General area.  A bunker is not defined as being in the General area. Their options are to play the ball as it lies or use Rule 19, Unplayable ball.  See page 169 in your Rules book, Rule 19.3a.
  3. Rule 18.3.  A player is NOT allowed to play a Provisional ball for a ball that is lost in a Penalty area, if they do that Provisional ball is now their ball in play under stroke and distance with a 1 stroke penalty.  If the player finds their original ball, abandons their Provisional ball and plays their original ball they are playing a Wrong ball, Rule 6.3c.  They incur a two stroke penalty and MUST correct their mistake before playing the next hole or they will be disqualified.
  4. Rule 18.2a (1).  A player is allowed to arrive where they think their ball is lost and then search for it for three minutes.  If the ball is not found in the three minute search time the ball is officially declared lost.  The player MUST return to where the last stroke was made and play another ball with a one stroke penalty.  If a player finds their ball after the three minute search time has elapsed, plays it and finishes the hole without correcting their error they are playing from a Wrong place, Rule 14.7, and are in “Serious breach” and will be disqualified.  
  5. Rule 14.7.  The player has played their ball from a Wrong place.  As this does not qualify as a “Serious breach” they incur the General penalty, 2 strokes.  
  6. Rule 7.3.   A player does not need to announce their intention to lift a ball for identification, there is no penalty.  If identification is obscured a player may clean their ball, but only as much as is necessary for identification. No penalty.  These actions rely on the integrity of the player.

I hope this helps you.


Author: Kay B

Webmaster in training.

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