Check your knowledge of the rules of the game

Updated: December 30, 2021

• Question: Your 2nd shot from the fairway heads toward a scruffy area left of the putting green.  When you and your group arrive where the ball is “estimated to be” you notice the scruffy area is marked as “ground under repair”.  After 2 minutes search you cannot locate the ball in the scruffy area or anywhere else.  Not knowing for certain where the ball is you head back to play another ball under “stroke and distance.”  You drop a ball and prepare to hit it.  Just then but still within the 3 minute search time your group finds the ball in the area marked as “GUR.”  Where do you go and what do you do?

• Answer: At the time you dropped a ball where the previous stroke was made you did not know with certainty where the original ball was.  It could have been in the rough or the “GUR”.  Without that “virtual certainty” your only option is to proceed under “stroke and distance”.  When you dropped that ball at the spot of the previous stroke you have properly proceeded under an applicable rule.  Even though your search time had not expired when the ball was found in the “GUR” you are still required to play under “stroke and distance”.  If you had established “virtual certainty” the ball was lost in the “GUR” you would be allowed to take relief without penalty for a ball lost in an “abnormal ground condition” the “GUR”.  Rule 18.1; Rule 18.2a(1);Rule 16.1e; Rule 18.3c(1).