Rule of Golf when ball is in a divot

The Rule of Golf when the ball is in a divot is a cruel one. Cruel to the fellow whose ball is in that divot.

Of course it is a cruel one: You hit a superb drive right down the centre of the fairway, about 230 meters or so. Your friends yell “Good shot!!” (we don’t want to question whether the yell is sincere or not) but by the time you reach your ball, you feel like roaring like an angry lion yelling “What the –!!” Yes, your golf ball is in a divot. Worse still, the divot is not even sand-filled. What does the Rule of Golf say about it?

The rule is very clear on this.

You cannot take a free drop. The basic Rule — Rule 13-1 — is the ball must be played as it lies, except when otherwise provided in the Rules. And  there are no exceptions or provisions. That means  you have no free relief. Even though the ball is right smack in the centre of the fairway.

If you wish, you can declare your ball unplayable and take a drop with a one-stroke penalty. If you so wish. Otherwise, just hit your ball from that divot and hope for the best outcome (remember: the other three great friends are hoping for a different outcome).

And before we say “Happy golfing!” let’s also remind ourselves and our other flight mates one important thing: There can be no “Local Rule” (temporary rules made by the club’s committee) to grant such things as “free relief” for balls in divots, whether the divot is filled or not. This item falls under what is called “Decision 33-8/34” which states that no committee can make a Local Rule to provide such free drops for balls in divots.

And now that you know about it (if you don’t already know), please pray hard that your ball is not attracted to any divots in the fairways.

Happy golfing!!


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About pakngah

social golfer; 24-handicapper.
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