- rolls into and stops in a hazard
- rolls out of and stops outside a hazard
- rolls onto and stops on a putting green
- rolls and stops out of bounds
- rolls to and stops where it is interfered with by the condition it is being dropped away from (e.g., casual water, immovable obstruction, embedded ball)
- stops more than two club lengths from where it lands
- stops closer to the hole than its original or estimated position, the nearest or maximum allowable point of relief, or the point where the original ball last crossed the line of a water hazard.
- If the player re-drops and the ball does any of the above, he places the ball at the spot where it landed when dropped.
- Penalties for violating Rules 20-1, 20-2 or 20-3: Match play – loss of hole. Stroke play – two strokes.
- On the teeing ground, he can play from anywhere on the teeing ground and tee up the ball.
- Through the green (anywhere but tee, green or hazard), he takes a drop, which must land on part of the course through the green.
- In a hazard, the ball is dropped and must stop in the hazard.
- On the green, the ball is placed on the green.
- Hits from a spot where a shot, drop or placement is prohibited (e.g., out of bounds).
- Hits a shot when he was required to re-drop his ball or replace it after it moved.
- Penalties for violating Rule 20-7: Match play – loss of hole. Stroke play – Two strokes, and the player must finish the hole with the ball played from the wrong place.
20-1. The player, his partner or another designated person can lift the ball according to any rule that allows lifting. Before the ball is lifted, its position must be marked. (The player incurs a one-stroke penalty if it isn’t.) To continue play, the ball must be replaced in its original spot; if it isn’t, the penalties are loss of hole in match play, two strokes in stroke play.
If the ball or marker moves while the player is marking the ball, there’s no penalty provided he replaces it.
To mark the ball, the player should place a coin or similar object directly behind the ball. If the marker interferes with another player’s mark, line, stance or swing, the player can move it a clubhead-length or more to the side.
20-2. If the player is entitled to a drop, he must drop the ball himself. The proper procedure: Stand upright, hold the ball straight out from the shoulder and drop in the designated area. There’s a one-shot penalty if someone other than the player drops the ball, or if the player doesn’t use the proper method and fails to correct the mistake.
If the ball touches another person or a piece of equipment before coming to rest, it can be re-dropped without penalty.
Any time a player drops a ball, he cannot drop it nearer to the hole than the chosen spot. A re-drop is required, without penalty, if the ball:
20-3. The player or his partner may place a ball when called for under the rules. Those allowed to replace a ball are the person who moved it, the player or his partner. If someone else places or replaces the ball, the player is penalized one stroke unless the mistake is corrected.
There’s no penalty for accidentally moving a ball or marker while placing or replacing it, but the ball or marker must be replaced in its original position. Replacing a ball anywhere other else is penalized by loss of hole in match play, two strokes in stroke play, unless the mistake is corrected.
If placing or replacing a ball when the original lie has changed, the player places the ball in the most similar lie within one club-length, no nearer the hole or in a hazard (unless the original lie was in the hazard). If placing a ball in a bunker, the player must replicate the original lie as closely as possible.
If the ball’s original position can’t be determined, it should be dropped as close as possible to the spot, or placed if it was on the green. It should only be dropped inside a hazard if the original spot was in the hazard.
If a ball moves a second time after being placed, it should be placed as close to the spot as possible and no nearer the hole, without penalty. If in a hazard, it must be placed in the hazard.
20-4. When a player drops, places or replaces a ball, it’s deemed the ball in play once it comes to rest.
20-5. When a player’s next shot is from the same position as his previous shot, he follows these procedures:
20-6. A player who improperly substitutes, places or replaces a ball can lift the ball and start over without penalty before playing the shot.
20-7. If a player does any of these things, he has played from the wrong place:
20-1. Lifting And Marking
A ball to be lifted under the Rules may be lifted by the player, his partner or another person authorized by the player. In any such case, the player is responsible for any breach of the Rules.
The position of the ball must be marked before it is lifted under a Rule that requires it to be replaced. If it is not marked, the player incurs a penalty of one stroke and the ball must be replaced. If it is not replaced, the player incurs the general penalty for breach of this Rule but there is no additional penalty under Rule 20-1.
If a ball or ball-marker is accidentally moved in the process of lifting the ball under a Rule or marking its position, the ball or ball-marker must be replaced. There is no penalty, provided the movement of the ball or ball-marker is directly attributable to the specific act of marking the position of or lifting the ball. Otherwise, the player incurs a penalty of one stroke under this Rule or Rule 18-2a.
20-2. Dropping And Re-Dropping
a. By Whom and How
A ball to be dropped under the Rules must be dropped by the player himself. He must stand erect, hold the ball at shoulder height and arm’s length and drop it. If a ball is dropped by any other person or in any other manner and the error is not corrected as provided in Rule 20-6, the player incurs a penalty of one stroke.
If the ball, when dropped, touches any person or the equipment of any player before or after it strikes a part of the course and before it comes to rest, the ball must be re-dropped, without penalty. There is no limit to the number of times a ball must be re-dropped in these circumstances.
(Taking action to influence position or movement of ball – see Rule 1-2)
b. Where to Drop
When a ball is to be dropped as near as possible to a specific spot, it must be dropped not nearer the hole than the specific spot which, if it is not precisely known to the player, must be estimated.
A ball when dropped must first strike a part of the course where the applicable Rule requires it to be dropped. If it is not so dropped, Rules 20-6 and 20-7 apply.
c. When to Re-Drop
If the ball when re-dropped rolls into any position listed above, it must be placed as near as possible to the spot where it first struck a part of the course when re-dropped.
(Use of dropping zone – see Appendix I; Part B; Section 8)
20-3. Placing And Replacing
a. By Whom and Where
A ball to be placed under the Rules must be placed by the player or his partner.
A ball to be replaced under the Rules must be replaced by any one of the following: (i) the person who lifted or moved the ball, (ii) the player, or (iii) the player’s partner. The ball must be placed on the spot from which it was lifted or moved. If the ball is placed or replaced by any other person and the error is not corrected as provided in Rule 20-6, the player incurs a penalty of one stroke. In any such case, the player is responsible for any other breach of the Rules that occurs as a result of the placing or replacing of the ball.
If a ball or ball-marker is accidentally moved in the process of placing or replacing the ball, the ball or ball-marker must be replaced. There is no penalty, provided the movement of the ball or ball-marker is directly attributable to the specific act of placing or replacing the ball or removing the ball-marker. Otherwise, the player incurs a penalty of one stroke under Rule 18-2a or 20-1.
If a ball to be replaced is placed other than on the spot from which it was lifted or moved and the error is not corrected as provided in Rule 20-6, the player incurs the general penalty, loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play, for a breach of the applicable Rule.
b. Lie of Ball to be Placed or Replaced Altered
c. Spot Not Determinable
d. Ball Fails to Come to Rest on Spot
If a ball when placed comes to rest on the spot on which it is placed, and it subsequently moves, there is no penalty and the ball must be played as it lies, unless the provisions of any other Rule apply.
*If a player makes a stroke at a ball substituted under one of these Rules when such substitution is not permitted, he incurs the general penalty for breach of that Rule, but there is no additional penalty under that Rule. If a player drops a ball in an improper manner and plays from a wrong place or if the ball has been put into play by a person not permitted by the Rules and then played from a wrong place, see Note 3 to Rule 20-7c.
20-4. When Ball Dropped Or Placed Is In Play
If the player’s ball in play has been lifted, it is again in play when dropped or placed.
A substituted ball becomes the ball in play when it has been dropped or placed.
(Ball incorrectly substituted – see Rule 15-2)
(Lifting ball incorrectly substituted, dropped or placed – see Rule 20-6)
20-5. Making Next Stroke From Where Previous Stroke Made
20-6. Lifting Ball Incorrectly Substituted, Dropped Or Placed
A ball incorrectly substituted, dropped or placed in a wrong place or otherwise not in accordance with the Rules but not played may be lifted, without penalty, and the player must then proceed correctly.
20-7. Playing From Wrong Place
b. Match Play
If a player makes a stroke from a wrong place, he loses the hole.
c. Stroke Play
If a competitor makes a stroke from a wrong place, he incurs a penalty of two strokes under the applicable Rule. He must play out the hole with the ball played from the wrong place, without correcting his error, provided he has not committed a serious breach (see Note 1).
If a competitor becomes aware that he has played from a wrong place and believes that he may have committed a serious breach, he must, before making a stroke on the next teeing ground, play out the hole with a second ball played in accordance with the Rules. If the hole being played is the last hole of the round, he must declare, before leaving the putting green, that he will play out the hole with a second ball played in accordance with the Rules.
If the competitor has played a second ball, he must report the facts to the Committee before returning his score card; if he fails to do so, he is disqualified. The Committee must determine whether the competitor has committed a serious breach of the applicable Rule. If he has, the score with the second ball counts and the competitor must add two penalty strokes to his score with that ball. If the competitor has committed a serious breach and has failed to correct it as outlined above, he is disqualified.