Rules FAQs in Fairways and Rough (General Area)
You can’t find a ball you think is Embedded
Q. I think my ball is stuck in the ground, but I can’t find it – how do I proceed?
A. If you can’t find your ball within three minutes, it is lost. Because it is lost, you must return to the spot of your previous stroke and play another ball for one penalty stroke (see Rule 18.2b).
Interference from Boundary Objects
Q. I have interference from an out of bounds fence, stake or wall – what are my options?
A. You do not get free relief from objects marking course boundaries or take free relief from them like you would from other artificial objects, like a cart path, a building, or a stake marking a penalty area. Your options are to play your ball as it lies, proceed under penalty of stroke and distance by playing again from the spot of your last stroke (see Rule 18.1), or decide your ball is unplayable (see Rule 19.1).
Relief Options for Unplayable Ball
Q. I don’t think I can play my ball as it lies (unplayable) – what are my options?
A. If you don’t want to or decide you cannot play your ball as it lies, you have the option to decide that it is unplayable for one penalty stroke (see Rule 19.2). This will give you three options on where you may drop your ball away from the spot where it came to rest. (1) You may play a ball at the spot of your previous stroke (see Rule 19.2a). (2) Take back-on-the-line relief (see Rule 19.2b). (3) Drop within two club-lengths and not nearer the hole than where your ball came to rest (see Rule 19.2c).