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How do you make the "as near as possible" drop?

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 

You have just hit a ball out of bounds or you decide to take the option for a ball in a water hazard where you re-play from the spot at which you previously played.  Do you drop your ball 1/4 inch behind the divot hole or repaired divot hole regardless of the condition of the turf around that spot?  Do you drop 6 inches away from the exact spot where the turf might be a bit better?  If you hit the shot fat, do you drop on the divot hole or repaired divot hole?

 

The idea of dropping "as near as possible" is a pretty restrictive instruction.  I am sort of surprised that the Rules writers did not allow some leeway for these types of drops.  One gets a club length for unusual ground conditions.  Two club lengths as one of the options for a lateral hazard.  In almost every drop scenario 1-2 club lengths are allowed.

 

Let's face it, when a divot is taken, it is pretty easy to know the exact spot a ball occupied.  I doubt anyone expects someone who hit a fat shot to drop the next ball in the divot hole or repaired divot hole.

 

If the idea of "as near as possible" is so important, then why not have the player place his ball on the spot.  Instead one drops it and the ball may roll up to 8 feet away.  That is hardly playing from "as near as possible" to the spot where the previous shot was taken. The vagueness of some Rules provisions seems to invite different approaches to the same situation. The USGA/R&A might want to think about adding "within a club length" to the "as near as possible" provision.  Of course sometimes that club length will allow one to escape long rough or get away from a tree.  Still, the player already got hit with a stroke & distance penalty so why not give him/her a little wiggle room for that next attempt?

 

Personally, I have always dropped my ball close to the spot (a foot, maybe two?) but never attempted to get it to hit within an inch of the original spot.  Good thing my play isn't televised!

 

What does everyone else do?

post #2 of 56

You don't have to be perfect, just make an effort to drop your ball as close as you can to the original spot. When the ball hits it might roll a foot or two. No big deal.

 

Look at Tiger, if he hadn't opened his mouth they were fine with where he hit. It was the fact that he said he wanted to drop 2 yards back that got him. He didn't attempt to drop as close as possible to the original spot, therefor he broke the rule. Its more in the intent than the actual place in Tiger's case.

post #3 of 56

Hitting it OB is a entirely different thing, different rule. With regard to a hazard I can't say I've ever seen someone spend the time to decide whether or not it would be benefical with one exception. The only time I've seen someone choose to do it is from the tee, always on a par 3 trying to right the wrong. Unless the course is wide open there really isn't an opportunity to, especially if it's not certain the ball went into the hazard, bounces into a reedy, wet area etc. By the time you get to the spot the group behind is waiting on you. You can't find the ball you drop and on move on.

post #4 of 56
It's as near as possible, as simple as that. If you know where you last hit, as near as possible is on that spot. Since you drop from an extended arm, you obviously need a bit larger circle which is inside what is accepted.

If you don't know where you last hit, you get as close as possible, from your own judgment, or with help from others. Once you pick this spot, it becomes the new point of reference and the same rules as above apply.
post #5 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave2512 View Post

Hitting it OB is a entirely different thing, different rule.

 

Different rule- yes, but the procedures are the same, basically.

 

With OB you must drop as close as possible to the original spot. With a water hazard you have other options as well but you can drop at the original spot as well.

post #6 of 56

Read Rule 20-5.   This is the applicable rule/procedure.  It's applicable to all the rules that require the player to play from the previous stroke, whether R26-1a, water hazard, R27-1a, Out of Bound, or R28a unplayable lie.

 

As I said in another thread, accuracy of the drop is based on what's possible from dropping a ball at shoulder height and arms length.  Usually about 4-8 inches.....I'd give you 12.

 

Try it sometime, lay a coin on the ground, hold a ball at arms length, shoulder height and try and hit the coin.  Do it 5 times.  What's the average distance from the coin?  Probably pretty close.

 

 

 

20-5. Making Next Stroke from Where Previous Stroke Made

 

When a player elects or is required to make his next stroke from where a previous stroke was made, he must proceed as follows:

 

(a) On the Teeing Ground: The ball to be played must be played from within the teeing ground. It may be played from anywhere within the teeing ground and may be teed.

 

(b) Through the Green: The ball to be played must be dropped and when dropped must first strike a part of the coursethrough the green.

 

(c) In a Hazard: The ball to be played must be dropped and when dropped must first strike a part of the course in the hazard.

 

(d) On the Putting Green: The ball to be played must be placed on the putting green.

post #7 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by NM Golf View Post

 

Different rule- yes, but the procedures are the same, basically.

 

With OB you must drop as close as possible to the original spot. With a water hazard you have other options as well but you can drop at the original spot as well.

Sorry for the confusion. Up here it's not common to encounter OB from anywhere but the tee, with driver in hand and a huge left or right miss. Obviously all of these posts are because of the Tiger situation but I just don't see it come up on the course with amatuers. Most aren't bouncing shots off flags into hazards and even fewer would elect to sacrifice the distance in most instances. The guys I see failing to carry the water on a 3rd shot into a long par 5 or whatever aren't worried about the grain in the drop area near the hazard, they're worried about hitting it the water again. If there's any lackadasical rule bending it's how and where they drop near the hazards, usually not exactly where it should be and honestly sometimes it's difficult to determine if there isn't a drop area.


Edited by Dave2512 - 4/16/13 at 4:19pm
post #8 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dormie1360 View Post

Try it sometime, lay a coin on the ground, hold a ball at arms length, shoulder height and try and hit the coin.  Do it 5 times.  What's the average distance from the coin?  Probably pretty close.

 

 

I tried the "hit the coin" test with a penny.  I hit it 4 of 5 times with the other missing by an inch.  I do not possess unusual hand-eye coordination.  Based on this small test it would appear that anyone dropping a ball more than 2-3 inches from their divot hole is violating the "as near as possible" portion of the Rule.  Of course this assumes one can identify the spot by having taken a divot or otherwise marking the location.  Looks like I have violated this portion of the Rule consistently.

post #9 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave2512 View Post

Sorry for the confusion. Up here it's not common to encounter OB from anywhere but the tee, with driver in hand and a huge left or right miss. Obviously all of these posts are because of the Tiger situation but I just don't see it come up on the course with amatuers. Most aren't bouncing shots off flags into hazards and even fewer would elect to sacrifice the distance in most instances. The guys I see failing to carry the water on a 3rd shot into a long par 5 or whatever aren't worried about the grain in the drop area near the hazard, they're worried about hitting it the water again. If there's any lackadasical rule bending it's how and where they drop near the hazards, usually not exactly where it should be and honestly sometimes it's difficult to determine if there isn't a drop area.

No woods on those Colorado courses? They tend to collect their share of golf balls! a2_wink.gif

I'm sure you know, but for those that don't, remember that a lost ball (other than in a water hazard) results in the same stroke and distance penalty as OB.
post #10 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by bkuehn1952 View Post

I tried the "hit the coin" test with a penny.  I hit it 4 of 5 times with the other missing by an inch.  I do not possess unusual hand-eye coordination.  Based on this small test it would appear that anyone dropping a ball more than 2-3 inches from their divot hole is violating the "as near as possible" portion of the Rule.  Of course this assumes one can identify the spot by having taken a divot or otherwise marking the location.  Looks like I have violated this portion of the Rule consistently.

 

It's really simple.

 

To the best of your ability, identify the spot where you think you played your last shot from. This may be from a divot, from your recollections, by asking your playing partners, or any other piece of evidence or testimony you may be able to use.

 

Then, again to the best of your ability, drop as nearly as possible on that spot. There will be no penalty for missing, as long as you don't drop nearer the hole and you made an honest effort to do your best.

 

How could you ask for it to be any more straightforward than that?

post #11 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by bkuehn1952 View Post

I tried the "hit the coin" test with a penny.  I hit it 4 of 5 times with the other missing by an inch.  I do not possess unusual hand-eye coordination.  Based on this small test it would appear that anyone dropping a ball more than 2-3 inches from their divot hole is violating the "as near as possible" portion of the Rule.  Of course this assumes one can identify the spot by having taken a divot or otherwise marking the location.  Looks like I have violated this portion of the Rule consistently.

 

You are WAY over thinking this. If you do your best to locate the original spot or estimate where it was. Then on your drop intend to get the ball as close as possible to the that spot. Its all about intent, not the final position the ball ends up. Balls take crazy bounces, but unless it travels more than 2 club lengths, bounces closer to the hole than the original ball, or a couple other things then you are good.

 

Here is a link to the rule on dropping from the USGA Rule Book: Rule 20-2 Dropping and Re-Dropping

post #12 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post


No woods on those Colorado courses? They tend to collect their share of golf balls! a2_wink.gif

I'm sure you know, but for those that don't, remember that a lost ball (other than in a water hazard) results in the same stroke and distance penalty as OB.

Believe it or not in the city not many courses have wooded areas, lots of older park style courses and the newer ones tend to be faux links designs. Courses with OB that can be reached without hitting it off the planet tend to wind through housing developments, the OB is someone's yard.

post #13 of 56
Thread Starter 
Hypothetical questions. You are playing a match for the Club Championship. You arrive at the 18th hole all square. Each of you hit the rolling fairway but each of you find a slight depression so the balls have a downhill lie. Each of you slice your 2nd shot out of bounds. You drop a ball "as near as possible" to your divot hole and the ball rolls forward so after the 2nd drop you place it on the spot where it hit and have that same downhill lie. You opponent drops his ball about 6-12 inches behind his divot hole where the turf is level. The ball lands on level turf and stays there with a level lie. Do you ask your opponent to re-drop closer to his original divot hole so as to recreate the previous lie? Or do you assume his intent was to drop as close as possible but he just isn't very good at dropping the ball on the spot that is as near as possible? I don't need an answer to these questions and I admit I am overdoing this entire issue. It just seems to me that every player's interpretation of "as near as possible" can vary significantly as opposed to many (most?) of the Rules that have set measurements or yes/no situations. Again, this assumes one can readily identify the "spot" as opposed to cases where an estimate is required.
post #14 of 56
Bkuehn1952,

Well said. Rule needs changing to 2 club lengths. Will be interested in how long usga will let it slide.
post #15 of 56
I see two issues here - first as someone already mentioned normally you get to drop within 2 club lengths doesn't that equate to 2 yards? Second, why didn't Tiger or his caddie know any better? Nobody caught this not even the commentators and the cameras were all over Tiger at the time of drop.
post #16 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by bkuehn1952 View Post

Hypothetical questions. You are playing a match for the Club Championship. You arrive at the 18th hole all square. Each of you hit the rolling fairway but each of you find a slight depression so the balls have a downhill lie. Each of you slice your 2nd shot out of bounds. You drop a ball "as near as possible" to your divot hole and the ball rolls forward so after the 2nd drop you place it on the spot where it hit and have that same downhill lie. You opponent drops his ball about 6-12 inches behind his divot hole where the turf is level. The ball lands on level turf and stays there with a level lie. Do you ask your opponent to re-drop closer to his original divot hole so as to recreate the previous lie? Or do you assume his intent was to drop as close as possible but he just isn't very good at dropping the ball on the spot that is as near as possible? I don't need an answer to these questions and I admit I am overdoing this entire issue. It just seems to me that every player's interpretation of "as near as possible" can vary significantly as opposed to many (most?) of the Rules that have set measurements or yes/no situations. Again, this assumes one can readily identify the "spot" as opposed to cases where an estimate is required.

 

In the real world, 6 or even 12 inches is such a negligible distance it is nearly impossible that it would determine the difference between a level lie and a downhill lie unless you are playing on the side of a mountain. And no they would not have to re-drop if the ball landed within 6 inches of the original divot.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by anauthor View Post

Bkuehn1952,

Well said. Rule needs changing to 2 club lengths. Will be interested in how long usga will let it slide.

 

Nope, even if they changed the rule (which they won't) it would be 1 club length at best.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulligan Jeff View Post

I see two issues here - first as someone already mentioned normally you get to drop within 2 club lengths doesn't that equate to 2 yards? Second, why didn't Tiger or his caddie know any better? Nobody caught this not even the commentators and the cameras were all over Tiger at the time of drop.

 

You drop As near as possible to the original spot. Two club lengths only comes into play if the ball rolls more than two club lengths from where it first struck the course. At which time you must re-drop. You don't get to drop within two club lengths.

post #17 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by anauthor View Post

Well said. Rule needs changing to 2 club lengths. Will be interested in how long usga will let it slide.

 

Nah. The rule currently protects people who don't know exactly where they played their last shot. What's two clublengths from a spot you can't precisely locate?

post #18 of 56
If we keep it the way it is. Then what if I drop the ball and it rolls 3 inches closer to the hole, than the original shot? Rule stats, close as possible, not close as possible but no closer to hole! This brings in a real and disturbing possibility. I drop ball as near as possible, and after, after I finish round, high definition camera shows I am 1/4 inch closer to hole than original shot. DQ. Really, that's where we're going unless they bring in the 2 club lengths rule.
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