Unplayable ball in hedge next to massively sloping fairway

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cliveb

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Consider a fairway with a big slope that causes a ball to roll off and into a hedge to the side.
If you take a penalty drop and the ball just rolls back into the hedge, I believe that's tough - the ball is in the relief area and you'd have to declare in unplayable once more and add another penalty stroke.
(Or have I got that wrong?)

Here's the question:
Having attempted to take a drop and the ball rolls back into the hedge, you realise that it's never going to stay out of the hedge, and further drops will be futile.
Can you then go back to take stroke & distance from where the previous shot was played?
Or has the act of taking that first drop removed your option to take S&D?
Because if you can't then you're basically stuffed, trapped in a never ending cycle of drop, roll into hedge, drop again, ad infinitum.

(NB. in case it's relevant, the hedge is not in a penalty area; it's in the general area).
 
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Consider a fairway with a big slope that causes a ball to roll off and into a hedge to the side.
If you take a penalty drop and the ball just rolls back into the hedge, I believe that's tough - the ball is in the relief area and you'd have to declare in unplayable once more and add another penalty stroke.
(Or have I got that wrong?)

Here's the question:
Having attempted to take a drop and the ball rolls back into the hedge, you realise that it's never going to stay out of the hedge, and further drops will be futile.
Can you then go back to take stroke & distance from where the previous shot was played?
Or has the act of taking that first drop removed your option to take S&D?
Because if you can't then you're basically stuffed, trapped in a never ending cycle of drop, roll into hedge, drop again, ad infinitum.

(NB. in case it's relevant, the hedge is not in a penalty area; it's in the general area).
If on the first drop the ball remains in the 2 club lengths relief area, then it is in play. You may then choose to take another penalty drop and use all the available options for an unplayable ball.
 

jim8flog

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In the first instance you drop twice and if it rolls out of the relief area you place where the ball first struck the ground and not drop. If it fails to stay on that spot there is no limit on how may times it takes to find a spot where the ball will remain at rest when placed.
 
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Foxholer

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And if the ball is dropped first time and rolls into the hedge but stays within the relief area..?
Post 2 covers that - tough bicky!
An old club had precisely the potential/likelihood for the above situation that I, fortunately, only suffered, with lots of scratches, once. I think a dry ditch has since been constructed to prevent balls rolling back into the hedge 'unfairly'.
 

rulefan

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Whenever taking relief, BEFORE you pick up your ball consider all the possible outcomes of your drop.
 
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Not sure original question has been answered.

Ball in hedge. Declared unplayable. So the 2CL option is taken, but ball rolls back into hedge (but still in relief area). In which case player chooses to declare it unplayable again. But this time player wants to use stroke & distance option. So where would that be?
 
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cliveb

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Not sure original question has been answered.
Ball in hedge. Declared unplayable. So the 2CL option is taken, but ball rolls back into hedge (but still in relief area). In which case player chooses to declare it unplayable again. But this time player wants to use stroke & distance option. So where would that be?
Thank you for understanding the question.
Whenever taking relief, BEFORE you pick up your ball consider all the possible outcomes of your drop.
Yes, understood. But I'm interested in what happens after the player foolishly attempts the 2CL drop and only after that realises further drops will always end up back in the hedge.
 

Steven Rules

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Thank you for understanding the question.

Yes, understood. But I'm interested in what happens after the player foolishly attempts the 2CL drop and only after that realises further drops will always end up back in the hedge.
As long as you haven't played a stroke at the ball that has rolled back under the hedge after taking your penalty drop, you can go back to where the ball was last played to take stroke and distance relief.

Interpretation 19.2/3
Stroke-and-Distance Reference Point Does Not Change Until Stroke Is Made

The reference point used for taking relief under stroke-and-distance does not change until the player makes another stroke at his or her ball in play, even if the player has dropped a ball under a Rule.
For example, a player takes relief for an unplayable ball and drops a ball under either the back-on-the-line relief option or lateral relief option. The dropped ball stays within the relief area but rolls into a place that the player again decides is unplayable.
For one additional penalty stroke the player may again use the back-on-the-line relief option or lateral relief option, or may choose the stroke-and-distance relief option using the point where the ball was last played before becoming unplayable the first time as the reference point. This stroke-and-distance reference point does not change because the player did not make a stroke at the dropped ball.
The outcome would be different if the player made a stroke at the dropped ball, because that spot would become the new stroke-and-distance reference point.
 

Colin L

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I'd add that you can take unplayable relief several times in succession without making a stroke and still opt for stroke and distance back to where your last shot was played from. But, don't forget to add a penalty stroke for each drop you make. 😢
 
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cliveb

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As long as you haven't played a stroke at the ball that has rolled back under the hedge after taking your penalty drop, you can go back to where the ball was last played to take stroke and distance relief.

Interpretation 19.2/3
Stroke-and-Distance Reference Point Does Not Change Until Stroke Is Made[
...
Thanks. That explains things perfectly.
 
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cliveb

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That is a great question. I believe the correct answer is to join another club.............:)
Fortunately it wasn't at my club. It happened at Staddon Heights to a lady my wife was caddying for.

The current parched conditions probably contributed. I suspect in more normal conditions there would be some longer grass to stop the ball going right into the hedge after a drop.
 

jim8flog

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Fortunately it wasn't at my club. It happened at Staddon Heights to a lady my wife was caddying for.

The current parched conditions probably contributed. I suspect in more normal conditions there would be some longer grass to stop the ball going right into the hedge after a drop.
with reference to post #3

was the hedge within the relief area?

If not were conditions so severe that it would be impossible to find a an area within the two club length semi circle that the ball would not stay at rest when placed?

I would add that if she dropped the ball a third time and it came to rest in the relief and she played it she is now in breach of the rules for failing to follow the correct procedure.
 

salfordlad

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Which relief area?
Maninblack asked "Could you measure two club lengths, deem it still unplayable without dropping & take another two to a flatter lie, if that was possible." That is, he was asking about taking lateral unplayable relief from the ball's original position. That defines a precise relief area within 2CL of the ball's original position and not nearer the hole. That is the relief area. You cannot drop a ball outside that relief area when you are taking unplayable relief. And there is no capacity to take relief another 2CL away from the limit of the first 2CL relief area without putting the ball into play on the course first.
 

bobmac

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Maninblack asked "Could you measure two club lengths, deem it still unplayable without dropping & take another two to a flatter lie, if that was possible." That is, he was asking about taking lateral unplayable relief from the ball's original position. That defines a precise relief area within 2CL of the ball's original position and not nearer the hole. That is the relief area. You cannot drop a ball outside that relief area when you are taking unplayable relief. And there is no capacity to take relief another 2CL away from the limit of the first 2CL relief area without putting the ball into play on the course first.
So if you're in a big bush can you can you take an unplayable lie, 2 club lengths and if you're still not out of the bush take another unplayable lie so 4 club lengths in all so the ball is playable?
 
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