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Yellow and Red Penalty Area (stakes) Rule 17


If your ball goes into a yellow-staked penalty area, your options are as follows:

1. Play it as it lies, which of course doesn’t cost you a penalty stroke and would be ideal. You are permitted to ground your club or even take a practice swing in the penalty area.

2. Stroke-and-distance relief, which means going back to the location of your last shot and take a drop at knee height from there. This will cost you one stroke.

3. Back-on-the-line relief, which means you may drop a ball where you want but it must be in a straight line from where you are dropping and must cross through the estimated point (within one club length) where the ball last crossed the edge of the penalty area. This also costs you a one-stroke penalty. (see diagram).









Those are your only options if the penalty area is marked with yellow lines or stakes.

If the penalty area is marked with red lines or stakes, you have the options 1 to 3 as in the yellow stake but you then have one additional option, which is referred to as lateral relief. (no 3 on diagram).

4. Lateral relief is when the player may drop a ball within two club-lengths of where their ball last crossed the edge of the penalty area, not nearer the hole. One stroke penalty. (see diagram)

reference point red stakes.jpg