Unplayable

Tiolaurie

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If after taking lateral relief from a bush, your ball is still within the bush, with an unplayable lie, what further relief is available?
You can’t go back in line with flag and ball due to OOB.
 

Backsticks

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Another lateral relief. But probably the better thing to have done is not taking the first one at all, but taking stroke and distance from the one that put it there.
 

Colin L

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If after taking lateral relief from a bush, your ball is still within the bush, with an unplayable lie, what further relief is available?
You can’t go back in line with flag and ball due to OOB.

After taking lateral relief for an unplayable ball but before you make a stroke at the ball, you also have the option of stroke and distance relief, going back to where you played your previous stroke. You could take relief several times and revert to S&D at the place the stroke was made that got you into trouble in the first place, provided you haven't played your ball at any stage. Each time you take relief costs you a penalty stroke, of course.
 

Tiolaurie

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I asked this as a visitor at a club today. A friend was in that situation and he was sure he could just take a drop. Maybe a local rule I thought. A senior member told me ‘take lateral relief, if you’re not out the bush, take another 1 club relief and add an extra penalty shot’. It didn’t ring true!
 

Tiolaurie

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If after hitting the ball in the bushes, you then hit a provisional ball, just in case. It lies in the fairway but then you find your original ball in the bushes. Is the provisional no longer in play?
 

Canary Kid

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If your provisional is on the fairway and your original ball is very probably in thick rough, my understanding is that there is no requirement for you to look for it … just go to your provisional and play it.

I also understand that there is nothing to stop your opponent looking for it and, if (s)he finds it before you play your provisional again, your original ball will still be the ball in play … but would anyone really do that?
 

rulefan

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If your provisional is on the fairway and your original ball is very probably in thick rough, my understanding is that there is no requirement for you to look for it … just go to your provisional and play it.
Correct

I also understand that there is nothing to stop your opponent looking for it and, if (s)he finds it before you play your provisional again, your original ball will still be the ball in play …
Correct. And you must then confirm or otherwise its identity.
 

Pars

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Hi Everyone,

New to forum.
I’d like to go back to original topic here as yesterday I found myself overshooting a Par 3 from the tee. My ball entered deep into very large pine tree behind the green; it was not out of bounds or a staked hazard. I found my ball as unplayable as it was trapped under branches on the ground. Although I could go back to the tee and play 3, I didn’t want to waste time, so attempted lateral relief from the lie under the tree to outside the pine tree branches….this was about 6 club lengths and no closer to the pin. Often, 2 club lengths is enough to get relief, but not on this occasion.
Three things:
1). Was I right in taking lateral relief until I had complete relief from under the tree, it was 6 club lengths?
2). My playing partner said afterwards that if I couldn’t get relief at 2 club lengths in first instance, then tough luck, I can’t keep taking 2 more, then 2 more etc. I should pick up ball and take S&D by going back to the tee.
2). I see a few people here have said words to the effect of, apply a 1 stroke penalty for every time you take relief….so if I take 3 drops over 6 metres, are we saying that’s 3 strokes penalty, or have I misinterpreted comments?
In closing, it was Stableford and my HC didn’t give me a shot on the hole, so I wiped the hole anyway, but I really would appreciate your input regarding lateral relief beyond 2 club lengths.
Cheers, Pars.
 

Wabinez

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its a shot penalty after every 2 club lengths, so you would have had 3 penalty shots. Once you have taken 2 club lengths, the option of going back to the tee is eradicated.

other options available are going back to the tee (as you mentioned), or going back as far as you like (away from the green, so potentially into deeper trees) keeping the flag and the point where the ball came to rest in line.

In this instance, the prudent play would likely have been going back to the tee.

As an aside, you also mention branches. You can move these branches (as long as they are not fixed, and they are loose), as long as your ball does not move…which may have opened an option for you.
 

Pars

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Hi Wabinez,

Thanks very much for the detailed reply…appreciated!

Agreed, in hindsight I should’ve just gone back to the tee under S&D and played my third. Unfortunately I had a mental blank and didn’t take that option. Lesson learned.

I was aware of being able to carefully move branches, unfortunately this pine tree is more of a giant man eating prickle tree….it’s deadly….I got spiked trying to find my ball 😁

I guess the key for me here is that I now know a player can keep taking lateral relief (2 club lengths at a time), albeit costing an extra stroke at each drop, which would very quickly put a player out of the hole.

Thanks again; happy golfing!
 

SwingsitlikeHogan

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Having a little brain fade…on above…when taking relief from an unplayable lie, MUST the player drop his ball before taking such relief a second and then again, in this instance, a third time. Or can he just measure 4 or 6 club from his ball’s original position to determine his point of relief. I can see that it could be completely impractical to do intermediate drops, but can also see that ball position after each drop would determine fine point of relief.
 

rulefan

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Having a little brain fade…on above…when taking relief from an unplayable lie, MUST the player drop his ball before taking such relief a second and then again, in this instance, a third time. Or can he just measure 4 or 6 club from his ball’s original position to determine his point of relief. I can see that it could be completely impractical to do intermediate drops, but can also see that ball position after each drop would determine fine point of relief.
If the drop is not in the relief area and is played it would cost the general penalty of 2 strokes. However playing from that far away would almost certainly be a serious breach getting a DQ
 

Pars

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Having a little brain fade…on above…when taking relief from an unplayable lie, MUST the player drop his ball before taking such relief a second and then again, in this instance, a third time. Or can he just measure 4 or 6 club from his ball’s original position to determine his point of relief. I can see that it could be completely impractical to do intermediate drops, but can also see that ball position after each drop would determine fine point of relief.
Hi Swings,

Great question, and exactly what I had in front of me yesterday. It was completely impossible for me to drop in the massive prickle pine yesterday without doing serious injury to myself from thorns, so all I could do was estimate each 2 club length until I was outside the pine tree and in a position where I could drop the ball.

I’m afraid I can’t provide any ruling clarity as I can’t find anything on R&A Rules website other than general references to playing from incorrect position, or playing from outside relief area.

I guess it would be easy to say, “if it’s impossible to apply an initial, or subsequent drop of ball, then player should take next practicable relief option by going back to position of last shot and play the ball under stroke & distance (one stroke penalty)”. But, I’d hope there is something more specific in the rules that addresses your question.

Cheers, Pars.
 

Steven Rules

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Once you have taken 2 club lengths, the option of going back to the tee is eradicated.
Not so. See Colin's post #5:
After taking lateral relief for an unplayable ball but before you make a stroke at the ball, you also have the option of stroke and distance relief, going back to where you played your previous stroke. You could take relief several times and revert to S&D at the place the stroke was made that got you into trouble in the first place, provided you haven't played your ball at any stage. Each time you take relief costs you a penalty stroke, of course.
Or see also Clarification 19.2/3.
 
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