Originally Posted by Golfingdad
Quick question regarding Tiger's penalty:
He thought he was entitled to free relief from an embedded ball so he took a drop. That drop would be within a club or two of the original spot I assume. If he had called it unplayable, the drop would have been the same, no? So it seems to me like he played it exactly the same way he would have played it had he called it unplayable, but since he didn't actually announce it as 'unplayable' he gets a 2-stroke penalty instead of 1?
Seems silly. Why couldn't they just have told him "Hey Tiger, you weren't entitled to the [free] drop from the embedded ball because you were in sand so we're gonna have to call it unplayable and give you a stroke penalty?"
WIth unplayable, he could do one of three things:
a. Proceed under the stroke and distance provision of Rule 27-1 by playing a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played (see Rule 20-5); or
b. Drop a ball behind the point where the ball lay, keeping that point directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind that point the ball may be dropped; or
c. Drop a ball within two club-lengths of the spot where the ball lay, but not nearer the hole.
A ball embedded in its own pitch-mark in the ground in any closely mown areathrough the green may be lifted, cleaned and dropped, without penalty, as near as possible to the spot where it lay but not nearer the hole. The ball when dropped must first strike a part of the coursethrough the green. “Closely mown area” means any area of the course, including paths through the rough, cut to fairway height or less.
So if he called it unplayable, he would have had a one stroke penalty, and could have played it from the same place, but also could have played if from further back along the line.