THE RULES EVERY GOLFER SHOULD KNOW
Dropping and re-dropping – Rule 20-2
Once you have dropped the ball correctly, Rule 20-2c then covers a number of other instances in which you are also required to a re-drop, among them when your ball: (i) rolls into and comes to rest in a hazard; (ii) rolls out of and comes to rest outside a hazard; (iii) rolls onto and comes to rest on a putting green and (iv) rolls and comes to rest out of bounds.
But perhaps the one that is most misunderstood among the remaining three sub-clauses is Rule 20-2-c(vi). This states that the ball must be re-dropped without penalty when it “rolls and comes to rest more than two club-lengths from where it first struck a part of the course.”
What this means is that you don’t re-drop just because your ball has come to rest beyond the tee peg that you put down to mark the extent of the available dropping area. The If your ball comes to rest more than two clublengths from where it first struck a part of the course, you must re-drop purpose of such a marker – which is not compulsory, but recommended – is merely to highlight where the ball must first strike a part of the course.
Once dropped, provided all the other conditions of Rule 20-2c have been met and the ball has not rolled nearer the hole, you are only required to re-drop if the ball comes to rest more than two club-lengths from where it first struck a part of the course.
Next time you spy someone about to pick their ball up and re-drop when it has rolled beyond their tee-peg marker, but not beyond two clublengths from where it first struck a part of the course, step in. This will prevent them incurring either a one-stroke penalty under Rule 18-2 for moving their ball in play, or a two-stroke penalty under Rule 1-2 if the ball is still moving (taking an action to influence the movement of the ball).
n most rounds of golf you play, you will probably have to take a drop at some stage – either as free relief from a certain interfering condition or as a penalty drop for a ball you have perhaps hit into a water hazard.
Rule 20-2 covers a full two pages in the latest book, and while there isn’t space to go into the full details here, there are a few things that some golfers do get wrong or don’t quite understand about various elements of the process.
Firstly, if you drop your ball and it touches any person, or the equipment of any player either before or after it strikes a part of the course and comes to rest, you must re-drop without penalty under Rule 20-2a. If your dropped ball rolls against your trolley or a leg of your standbag, don’t panic!