|Diagram from www.randa.org Quick Guide to the Rules|
Here are the seven (eight?) instances when a dropped ball must be re-dropped under Rule 20-2c;
A dropped ball must be re-dropped, without penalty, if it:So, the R&A Rules diagram seems to imply that the above are the eight reasons when a dropped ball must be re-dropped. However, this means that there are actually nine situations in total, as Rule 20-2a states;
(i) rolls into and comes to rest in a hazard;
(ii) rolls out of and comes to rest outside a hazard;
(iii) rolls onto and comes to rest on a putting green;
(iv) rolls and comes to rest out of bounds;
(v) rolls to and comes to rest in a position where there is interference by the condition from which relief was taken under Rule 24-2b (immovable obstruction), Rule 25-1 (abnormal ground conditions), Rule 25-3 (wrong putting green) or a Local Rule (Rule 33-8a), or rolls back into the pitch-mark from which it was lifted under Rule 25-2 (embedded ball);
(vi) rolls and comes to rest more than two club-lengths from where it first struck a part of the course; or
(vii) rolls and comes to rest nearer the hole than:
(a) its original position or estimated position (see Rule 20-2b) unless otherwise permitted by the Rules; or
(b) the nearest point of relief or maximum available relief (Rule 24-2, 25-1 or 25-3); or
(c) the point where the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard or lateral water hazard (Rule 26-1).
If the ball, when dropped, touches any person or the equipment of any player before or after it strikes a part of the course and before it comes to rest, the ball must be re-dropped, without penalty.In which case this ‘Octopus’ has nine tentacles!
(Edit 4th March 2015: Several readers have suggested that there are 10, or even 11 reasons why a ball must be dropped under Rule 20. However, I now think that my guess as to why it is called the 'Octopus' Rule is off track. Here is another explanation;
"I think the reference applies more to the various Rules on which Rule 20 impinges rather than the occasions on which a ball may be re-dropped. Rule 20 tentacles stretches out to affect many of the other Rules and that is my understanding of the reference to the 'Octopus' ".In any case, I hope that you will agree that it was an interesting subject for a blog.)
Thinking about singles or team match play competitions? Make sure that you and/or your team know what the differences are in the Rules for match play golf. Click on this link for details: 'So You Are Going to Play Match Play'.
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