This year I spent most of Summer on golf courses as a referee in many types of tournaments. Often, members ask me a few questions concerning the Rules of Golf. I answer all questions.
Many golf Clubs have adopted the option, on all the holes or only when there is an Out of Bounds. Most of the Clubs don’t do it the right way.
Difference between a lost ball and a ball out of bounds
Out of Bounds: In most cases, we have a fence, a white line or white stakes that defines the edge of the Out of Bounds. It is easy to see where the ball last crossed the edge of the course boundary.
Lost Ball: The lost ball may be in high grass, wooden area, desert, etc
It is possible to drop a ball in the fairway, adding a penalty of 2 strokes…but at what distance from the hole?
OUT OF BOUNDS
When we have found where the ball last crossed the edge of the course boundary, we must find at what distance that edge is from the flagstick. If it is at 135 yards, the fairway reference point is at 135 yards from the pin.
This is trickier because we must estimate where the original ball is estimated to have come to rest on the course. If we think the lost ball must be at 120 yards from the pin, the fairway reference point is at 120 yards.
Contrary to all the other relief procedures, the relief area is very big. I will explain that in a further article.
Also, later I will explain what to do when a ball is lost or out of Bounds on the side or the back of a green.
This option is not automatic on a course. The Committee, the captain or any person responsible for the course set up must determine where this option is available. I think it is not a good idea to put the alternative on all the holes on a golf course.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to write to me on this site or at firstname.lastname@example.org
In your questions, you should also provide a drawing of the hole.