Rules Guy: Do I *have* to take a drop from Ground Under Repair?

Are you allowed to play your ball as it lies from an area marked Ground Under Repair?

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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.

Due to marshy conditions at my club, an area was declared Ground Under Repair and a drop zone was established far behind it. Do I have the option to play my ball from the GUR, or must I use the drop zone? —Mohammed Suleiman, via email

As a general rule, you can play from GUR — unless the committee has declared it a no-play zone. (Rules Guy, and Rules Guy alone, refers to this as an NPZ.)

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This is sometimes done to protect flower beds, for example. A drop zone (DZ), it’s worth noting, is generally given simply as an option, in which case you’re also free to play from the nearest point of complete relief (NPCR), but the committee can require players to take relief from a drop zone. So, in summary: Check if the GUR is an NPZ. If so, check whether the DZ must be used; if not, you can also go the NPCR route if you prefer. FWIW. LOL.

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Got a question about the Rules? Ask the Rules Guy! Send your queries, confusions and comments to We promise he won’t throw the book at you.

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