Originally Posted by anauthor
I'm just a bit upset. I have a hard time giving a penalty for intent. Who's to say that someone dropped in a flatter area, or an area where it is less likely to roll into a divot. If they don't say they were intentionally doing so, they get away with it. Then again, why have any rule where you get 1 or 2 club lengths? Just determine closest spot and always drop there. I'll bet ever pro when dropping after going into a water hazard, has been trying yo get a good lie for there next shot, not just dropping as close as they could to last spot. But that's just my opinion.
If you believe they have identified the wrong location, you can challenge them about it or bring it up with the committee. They have to be making a bona fide effort to identify the location and drop on it. If you have information that can help them identify the location correctly, you should assist them by providing that information. But they have the right to make their own reasonable determination, even if they make an error. There's no other practical way to solve the problem---at some point you have to rely on the integrity of the players.
This was already covered, at least in one case, but you get 1 or 2 club lengths of freedom when the "closest spot" is impractical for some reason. When you're returning to the location of your previous stroke, by definition you already determined that it was reasonable to attempt a stroke from that location, so you don't automatically get leeway.