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Penalty area drop rule


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As many know, Cam Smith was penalized for taking a drop from a penalty area then hitting the ball after it landed partially on the line demarking the penalty area.  I'm trying to think of why this rule exists and come up with nothing.  What possible advantage is gained by a player who plays the ball inside the penalty area after a drop?  Can anyone offer an explanation for why there is such a rule?

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Likely … you have to take full relief 

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5 hours ago, jordan2240 said:

As many know, Cam Smith was penalized for taking a drop from a penalty area then hitting the ball after it landed partially on the line demarking the penalty area.  I'm trying to think of why this rule exists and come up with nothing.  What possible advantage is gained by a player who plays the ball inside the penalty area after a drop?  Can anyone offer an explanation for why there is such a rule?

Apart from anything else, it would be a bit daft to take a penalty stroke to allow you to play from outside the penalty area  and then play from within the penalty area, wouldn't it?  All the dafter when you learn that it's cost you a further two strokes.

 

As stated above, you have to take complete relief from the penalty area. There is a clear definition of the exact  edge of the penalty area and of when your ball is in it. Snith's ball was in it.  It matters not by how much or how little a golf ball is in a penalty area any more than it matters in a sport like hockey or soccer. It's a goal if the ball is only a fraction over the defined line just as much as when the ball nearly bursts the net.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Colin L
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1 hour ago, Colin L said:

it would be a bit daft to take a penalty stroke to allow you to play from outside the penalty area  and then play from within the penalty area, wouldn't it?

I could see being assessed a penalty if you were not allowed to play the ball from inside the penalty area originally, but since you can play the ball inside the penalty area without penalty if you are able to get a club on it, then what does it matter if your drop rolls inside the penalty area?  Point is, being inside the penalty area is not in itself automatically a penalty, so why is it a penalty if your drop rolls in there?

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39 minutes ago, jordan2240 said:

I could see being assessed a penalty if you were not allowed to play the ball from inside the penalty area originally, but since you can play the ball inside the penalty area without penalty if you are able to get a club on it, then what does it matter if your drop rolls inside the penalty area?  Point is, being inside the penalty area is not in itself automatically a penalty, so why is it a penalty if your drop rolls in there?

You could easily ask the same about a cart path.  After taking free relief from the cart path, the ball rolls to a point where you will stand on the cart path for your next stroke.  It would be playing from a wrong place if you made that stroke.

When the player takes relief, free or penalty, they must take complete relief.  Failure to do so leaves the ball in a wrong place.  Complete relief for a penalty area means that the ball is no longer in the penalty area.

 

In baseball, why is a foul ball a foul ball?  Because that's what the Rules say.

 

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8 minutes ago, jordan2240 said:

I could see being assessed a penalty if you were not allowed to play the ball from inside the penalty area originally, but since you can play the ball inside the penalty area without penalty if you are able to get a club on it, then what does it matter if your drop rolls inside the penalty area?  Point is, being inside the penalty area is not in itself automatically a penalty, so why is it a penalty if your drop rolls in there?

 

Because you are taking relief from the Penalty Area, not from an unfavourable lie. When you move your ball to a new location by carrying it instead of by playing it, you can't choose whichever spot you'd prefer, you need to use the relief options and areas made available to you by the relevant rule. And yes, you need to draw clear lines into the rules to keep them as simple and as objectively enforceable as possible to provide players with equal rights and responsibilities.

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33 minutes ago, jordan2240 said:

I could see being assessed a penalty if you were not allowed to play the ball from inside the penalty area originally, but since you can play the ball inside the penalty area without penalty if you are able to get a club on it, then what does it matter if your drop rolls inside the penalty area?  Point is, being inside the penalty area is not in itself automatically a penalty, so why is it a penalty if your drop rolls in there?

There's no penalty for your ball rolling in there. There's a penalty for playing from a wrong place if you play from outside the relief area. This is a single consistent theme across the rules - get the relief area correct - there's nothing complicated about it. Or do you see logic in giving the players a free choice to play from anywhere they like? That would be a recipe for inconsistent application of the rules and for gaming. The 2019 Rules made giant strides in eliminating the scope for gaming that existed under the previous very complex dropping/relief area arrangements.

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Jordan

 

You cannot give people the opportunity to pick the better of two lies.

If you allowed them the choice of playing the dropped ball from the penalty area or choosing to redrop - this would be too generous .

If you said they could not redrop then they would not be obtaining relief from the penalty area for which they are paying one stroke.

 

Unfortunately the authorities have already made a hash of a couple of rules which gives the player such choices and which hopefully will be amended soon.

Local rule E-12 being a prime candidate.

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3 hours ago, jordan2240 said:

I could see being assessed a penalty if you were not allowed to play the ball from inside the penalty area originally, but since you can play the ball inside the penalty area without penalty if you are able to get a club on it, then what does it matter if your drop rolls inside the penalty area?  Point is, being inside the penalty area is not in itself automatically a penalty, so why is it a penalty if your drop rolls in there?

Would you also suggest that no penalty should apply if the ball rolled beyond the 2 clublength limit?  Or if it rolled 3 inches closer to the hole than the Reference Point?  The Rules MUST draw specific lines, and this is one of them, the definition of the Relief Area.  As @limegreengentsays, we don't want the player to have too many choices, so the rule COULD be written so that the Relief Area  extends into the Penalty Area.  Then the player would be required to play the ball wherever in the Relief Area it ends up after the drop, even if it goes into the PA portion of the Relief Area.  If it results in a second penalty, so be it.  Is that a better choice, in your mind?

Separately, did Cam complain at all about the Rule and the penalty?  If so, shame on him, he should learn the rules better.  But if he took it with good grace, good for him.

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The not taking full relief from a cart path is one rule I see guys try to violate all the time .. when full relief puts them in the brush or trees 

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14 minutes ago, cardoustie said:

The not taking full relief from a cart path is one rule I see guys try to violate all the time .. when full relief puts them in the brush or trees 

 

Based on Cam's situation it seems you don't have to take full relief from a PA.  Is there any logic why your stance can be in the PA?  Understand that there is a clear difference between a PA and an ACC, but seems like for consistency you should need to take full relief from a PA as well.

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22 minutes ago, david.c.w said:

 

Based on Cam's situation it seems you don't have to take full relief from a PA.  Is there any logic why your stance can be in the PA?  Understand that there is a clear difference between a PA and an ACC, but seems like for consistency you should need to take full relief from a PA as well.

Not sure what you mean.

Cam was penalised for not taking full relief. His ball was partly on the line.

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26 minutes ago, david.c.w said:

 

Based on Cam's situation it seems you don't have to take full relief from a PA.  Is there any logic why your stance can be in the PA?  Understand that there is a clear difference between a PA and an ACC, but seems like for consistency you should need to take full relief from a PA as well.

The concept of "complete relief" applies only to free relief.  If you are entitled to free relief for interference with your stance, lie, and area of intended swing, then you should expect to move the ball far enough to get relief for all of those factors.  If "complete relief" weren't required, you could conceivably re-drop if you still had interference and had a bad lie, or accept that drop if you got a good lie.  The Rules don't give us choices, generally, so in that case you MUST take complete relief.

For penalty relief, you're getting relief from the location of the ball only.  So for a ball in a Penalty Area, the area of relief is outside that Penalty Area.  The potential Relief Area, either Back on The Line or Lateral Relief, are large enough that you (usually but not always) can achieve complete relief, but complete relief isn't a requirement.  Again, there is no choice to be made once the ball has been dropped, either the ball is in the Relief Area and in play, or not in the RA and must be re-dropped.

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1 minute ago, jordan2240 said:

No complaint from what was reported.  Whether or not he thought what Sergio voiced is unknown.

I later found this from the Washington Post reporting:

Quote

 Cam is a complete gentleman, and he took it that way. He was completely calm through the whole process, and once he found it was a two-stroke penalty, he just said to me, ‘The rules are the rules.’ ”

Good for him!

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1 hour ago, davep043 said:

The concept of "complete relief" applies only to free relief. 

The requirement to take complete relief is explicitly stated in the definition  of the nearest point of complete relief, but there is the implicit requirement that in  penalty area relief your ball must be completely outside the PA.  But it's better explained , as above,  in terms of the requirement for your ball come to rest in the relief area, given that no part of the relief area can be in the penalty area.  Smith's ball rolled outside the relief area, that's all.  An elegant simplicity.

 

Edited by Colin L
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24 minutes ago, Colin L said:

The requirement to take complete relief is explicitly stated in the definition  of the nearest point of complete relief, but there is the implicit requirement that in  penalty area relief your ball must be completely outside the PA.  But it's better explained , as above,  in terms of the requirement for your ball come to rest in the relief area, given that no part of the relief area can be in the penalty area.  Smith's ball rolled outside the relief area, that's all.  An elegant simplicity.

I believe you and I agree completely, I should have said that "Nearest Point of Complete Relief" only applies for Rules 16.1 and 16.2 ( hope I haven't missed one).  However, every single relief situation requires that the ball be dropped and come to rest in the Relief Area, which may be defined differently for each rule allowing relief.

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39 minutes ago, Colin L said:

The requirement to take complete relief is explicitly stated in the definition  of the nearest point of complete relief, but there is the implicit requirement that in  penalty area relief your ball must be completely outside the PA.  But it's better explained , as above,  in terms of the requirement for your ball come to rest in the relief area, given that no part of the relief area can be in the penalty area.  Smith's ball rolled outside the relief area, that's all.  An elegant simplicity.

 

 

It is quite easy when I stop and think about it.  ACC is free relief from stance and ball.  PA relief is ball only.  I would never take relief from my stance in the PA, thus my stance can be in the PA after I drop.

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From what I recall, "complete relief" terminology is found in free relief for an IO such as a cart path. You must drop so that both your stance and swing are not on the cart path.

 

The PA drop rule defines that the ball must be dropped outside the PA in the general area. So in Smith's case, for example, he could have dropped the ball outside the red line, but be standing inside the PA to play the shot and that would have been OK.  

 

Someone will probably check what I just said. I didn't have time to look up yet. 

 

Azinger was making fun of Smith on TV and kept saying that he doesn't know the most basic rule that he must take "complete Relief" when dropping from the PA which as I said is not correct terminology.  

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19 minutes ago, szaino said:

Azinger was making fun of Smith on TV and kept saying that he doesn't know the most basic rule that he must take "complete Relief" when dropping from the PA which as I said is not correct terminology.  

Agree completely, the phrase "complete relief" is only found in Rule 16.1 and 16.2, so doesn't apply to Penalty Area relief situations.  Never trust a retired PGA Tour player when you hear them describing Rules.  I'd contrast that with Kathryn Belanger of the USGA providing Rules commentary for the US Women's Open, who teaches at USGA Rules Workshops and actually knows the rules.

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46 minutes ago, davep043 said:

Agree completely, the phrase "complete relief" is only found in Rule 16.1 and 16.2, so doesn't apply to Penalty Area relief situations.  Never trust a retired PGA Tour player when you hear them describing Rules.  I'd contrast that with Kathryn Belanger of the USGA providing Rules commentary for the US Women's Open, who teaches at USGA Rules Workshops and actually knows the rules.

Agree, remember Azinger in the famous argument with Seve during a Ryder cup match play. They were arguing about something that had occurred a few holes earlier, and as we all know was water under the bridge at that point. 

 

Or the smartest man in the room, the self proclaimed rules expert- Phil. His best was violating the one ball rule in the President's cup and not knowing he could replace the ball and continue playing.

 

In defense of the players, when they are "playing", their brains are simply not in rules mode and it is easy to make a mistake with not enough quiet time to think it through or look it up.  

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It's one of the most straightforward rules in golf.  Someone who earns their living playing the sport should know this rule.  If he was unsure, he should have called in an official, that is why they are there.  Cam was fortunate that the rules regarding this have changed.  A few years ago, he would have been disqualified for signing an incorrect score card.

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1 hour ago, alittleoverpar said:

It's one of the most straightforward rules in golf.

Yes and no, the definition of when a ball is in a Penalty Area (touching the line) is different from a ball OB (ball completely on or past the line).  But I do agree, the players and/or caddies really should know more about the rules than they seem to.

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9 hours ago, limegreengent said:

Jordan

 

You cannot give people the opportunity to pick the better of two lies.

If you allowed them the choice of playing the dropped ball from the penalty area or choosing to redrop - this would be too generous .

If you said they could not redrop then they would not be obtaining relief from the penalty area for which they are paying one stroke.

 

Unfortunately the authorities have already made a hash of a couple of rules which gives the player such choices and which hopefully will be amended soon.

Local rule E-12 being a prime candidate.

 

In general I think I agree with your premise but The Rules allow you a few options of where you can play from in this particular instance.  Replay from the previous spot, back-of-the-line relief or drop within 2 clubs where it last entered (his choice).  All may be more or less advantageous or disadvantageous in any given scenario.

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13 minutes ago, davep043 said:

Yes and no, the definition of when a ball is in a Penalty Area (touching the line) is different from a ball OB (ball completely on or past the line).  But I do agree, the players and/or caddies really should know more about the rules than they seem to.

I can't hep but think he did know the rule, but clearly wanted to drop it close to the line to take his stance on the wall, got a favorable lie on the drop, so decided to hit it anyway

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28 minutes ago, smashdn said:

 

In general I think I agree with your premise but The Rules allow you a few options of where you can play from in this particular instance.  Replay from the previous spot, back-of-the-line relief or drop within 2 clubs where it last entered (his choice).  All may be more or less advantageous or disadvantageous in any given scenario.

 

Please do not confuse having different options under a rule as noted by yourself .

- with dropping correctly under an option and being allowed to drop again because you believe that the redrop will/ may produce a better result.

This is what we are discussing.

 

"That is a totally different ballgame"

 

And would be  contrary to the long standing and traditional principles of the game.

Edited by limegreengent
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4 minutes ago, limegreengent said:

 

Please do not confuse having different options under a rule as noted by yourself .

- with dropping correctly under an option and being allowed to drop again because you believe that the redrop will/ may produce a better result.

This is what we are discussing.

 

"That is a totally different ballgame"

 

And would be  contrary to the long standing and traditional principles of the game.

 

Ahh, my apologies.  I misunderstood the discussion.

 

In this scenario he could have dropped relatively closely to the PA expecting it to roll in (twice) and then would have been able to place the ball correct?  Deep bermuda rough is no picnic even when you place it.

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