Rules Guy: If you go OB behind a green, can you take your drop in front?
The Rules of Golf are tricky! Thankfully, we’ve got the guru. Our Rules Guy knows the book front to back. Got a question? He’s got all the answers.
Our club is using the local two-stroke rule for out of bounds. We have a par 3 with OB about 20 yards behind the green, while the only fairway is in front of the green. So can we drop equidistant from the hole in front of the green if we go out of bounds behind it? —NEAL PRESCOTT, VIA E-MAIL
You are referring, per the new-for-2019 nomenclature, to Model Local Rule E-5. While you’ve got the gist of things, rather than go in a straight line from where the ball last went out of bounds to the opposite side, you instead work on an arc and swing around until you find the nearest fairway point, no closer to the hole than where the original ball went out of bounds. (Think of a compass that is used for technical drawings.) From there, you get two club-lengths into the fairway to drop, no closer to the hole. That’s model rules behavior.
Got a question about the Rules? Ask the Rules Guy! Send your queries, confusions and comments to email@example.com. We promise he won’t throw the book at you.