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Line of Flight?  I think NOT!

Today’s Tuesday Tip covers a long misunderstood rule in golf, “line of flight.”  Ever hear a player take a drop due to something in his/her line of flight?  The fact is that there is NO line of flight rule.  The phrase “line of flight” is not mentioned in the rules of golf.

If a player’s ball goes into a water hazard there are a few options, under penalty of one stroke.

  • Drop the ball as far back as you want, keeping the point the ball entered the hazard behind and in line with the hole.
  • Replay the shot from the previous location.

If a player’s ball goes into a water hazard, the same two options above plus this option:

  • Replay from the previous location.

For more, check our post on lateral hazards and check the quote below from the USGA:

If a ball is found in a water hazard or if it is known or virtually certain that a ball that has not been found is in the water hazard (whether the ball lies in water or not), the player may under penalty of one stroke:

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 water hazard, keeping the point at which the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind the water hazard the ball may be dropped; or

c. As additional options available only if the ball last crossed the margin of alateral water hazard, drop a ball outside the water hazard within two club-lengths of and not nearer the hole than (i) the point where the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard or (ii) a point on the opposite margin of the water hazard equidistant from the hole.

When proceeding under this Rule, the player may lift and clean his ball or substitute a ball.