Ruling Range - March 2017
Needing par to shoot your personal best, you flush a drive up the right side of the fairway and it takes a bad hop into a lateral water hazard. Bummed, you fumble through your bag for a ball and begin thinking how you're going to drop within two club lengths, chip out from the trees and sink a pitch shot to save par. As you start measuring your drop, your playing partner shouts from the middle of the fairway, "Hey, what are you doing? You should walk to the other side of the hazard and play from there." Considering his suggestion, you look at the other side of the hazard and see fairway from a neighboring hole and a long, but clear shot at your intended green. Confused, you ask: "Can I really drop over there?"
Your partner's suggestion is a good one. As long as you keep your point of entry between your drop and the intended target, you are entitled to drop the ball wherever you'd like on that imaginary line. So after an extended walk around the hazard, you gather a GPS-generated yardage to the green from the TeeOff app and flush a nine iron 3 feet from the hole. Unfortunately, the rules of golf can't help you make the par putt and you end up tying your best score. But it's not all sad. You've learned a new rule that will help you immensely in your future battles versus par!