Rules of Golf Explained: Penalty Areas (New for 2019)


Penalty areas include any body of water on the course plus any other areas that have been marked. If you happen to find your ball in a penalty
area… you can play your ball as it lies, if possible to do so. Before playing the stroke, it’s OK to ground your club… take practice swings that touch the ground… and move loose impediments. Penalty areas can be marked either red or
yellow… and for one penalty stroke, you have several relief options. The first one is to play a ball under stroke
and distance from where you made your last stroke. Another option is to take back-on-the-line
relief by imagining a straight line from the hole… through the spot where your ball last
crossed into the penalty area. Choose a spot on that line, then drop and
play from within one club-length of it… not nearer the hole. You do have a third relief option if your
ball is in a red penalty area… that allows you to find the spot where your ball last crossed into the penalty area… and drop a ball within two club-lengths of that spot, no closer to the hole. Also, there may be an area marked as a drop zone that could be available as an additional option.

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