Do you know Rule 25-2 of the Rules of Golf?
By mustang6560 on 1/18/13
I am in no way a rules expert, however, I think it's important to know the Rules of Golf — whether or not you play by them is an entirely different topic of conversation. Learning the rules, in my opinion, is part of our responsibility to the game, and you never know when it will save you from incurring a costly two-stroke penalty — a la Tiger Woods.

In the second round of the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship, Tiger found himself in a viney-situation on the fifth hole at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club. His ball embedded in a thicket of vines, and citing "Rule 25-2. Embedded Ball", he gave himself a free drop after conferring with Martin Kaymer.

The problem is, however, Rule 25-2 very specific. The rule grants players a free drop if their ball is embedded in the ground, and the viney-area where Tiger's ball embedded was actually a sandy area, so he was assessed a two-stroke penalty following his round. The penalty bumped his 73 to a 75, which left him outside of the cut line and sent him packing.

If you weren't familiar with Rule 25-2 prior to Tiger's penalty, then commit it to memory. I don't want to hear about any oobers incurring a two-stroke penalty for incorrectly taking relief from an embedded lie!
25-2. Embedded Ball

A ball embedded in its own pitch-mark in the ground in any closely mown area through the green may be lifted, cleaned and dropped, without penalty, as near as possible to the spot where it lay but not nearer the hole. The ball when dropped must first strike a part of the course through the green. "Closely mown area" means any area of the course, including paths through the rough, cut to fairway height or less.


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Image via Flickr, chebbs


[ comments ]
mjaber says:
If he was in a thicket of vines, I would assume that this was outside of the fairway, meaning that rule 25-2 would not apply, since (if I'm reading correctly) the rule only applies to a ball embedded in its own pitch mark in the fairway, or any area where the grass is cut to a length SHORTER than the the fairway.
1/18/13
 
GBogey says:
I think it he did it on purpose in order to miss the cut, otherwise he would have to play the weekend sans Rory.
1/18/13
 
Bertie_16 says:
He consulted with Martin Kymer who agreed with his interpretation to take a drop. So Kymer doesn't know the rule either. And isn't there typically a rules official traveling with every group, or atleast accessable at a moments notice?
1/18/13
 
mjaber says:
I'm no rules expert either, but I think, in general, if you're not in the fairway you're not getting relief or a free drop, unless it's under a local rule.

Right?
1/18/13
 
mustang6560 says:
mjaber: You're exactly right.

www.usga.org/rulesfaq/rules_answer.asp?FAQidx=10
1/18/13
 
srogers13 says:
The local rule would have let him take a drop for an embedded ball in the rough, but it was determined that he was in a sand based area, i.e. like a bunker. There is not a rules official with every group, but someone with a radio to call a rules official. As far as this penalty, a golf writer following the group witnessed the incident, and asked a tournament official. They informed Tiger on 11 there was a problem.
1/18/13
 
mjaber says:
@mustang6560... so you're saying I'm smarter than Tiger?
1/18/13
 
Duke of Hazards says:
the way that it was described was that the penalty stemmed from the fact that the ball was embedded in particles of sand ('sandy area') with no grass growing in the near vicinity.... i looked for a definition of 'sandy area' and nothing came up.... rule 25-2 allows for a drop in any closely mown area 'through the green'...

'through the green' = any part of the course that is not: tee box, green, or a hazard.

the place where Tiger hit the ball most closely resembles a 'waste area', which is not a hazard and which players are entitled to play like rough (i.e. - they can ground the club, etc.)... so the 'through the green' portion of the 25-2 definition doesn't seem to be the reason why he was penalized... it was the 'closely mown' section, which is intended to describe the fairway and if specified under local rule, any other portion or special feature of the course. however, I found a link which seems to suggest that a local special rule would not extend to waste areas, which is where Tiger
1/18/13
 
Duke of Hazards says:
seemed to be hitting from.....

collegiategolf.com/rules-corner/embedded-ball-12
1/18/13
 
bkuehn1952 says:
@ Duke - thanks for the link. That seems to be a comprehensive summary of what one can and can not do with an embedded ball as well as things to watch out for prior to proceeding under the "Embedded Ball" rule. I know I would have assumed one club length and might normally fix the ball mark before dropping.
1/18/13
 
Coach Chuck says:
I was up late watching, and when I seen him mark and pick up and drop I said to myself what is he doing? He can't do that,it's just sand. oh well over there maybe a local rule! Then I went to bed. the rest is hahahahahaha history, sorry charley Stevie would have stopped you!!
1/19/13
 
mmontisano says:
you can take a embedded ball out of a sand trap or waste area for identification purposes only. if it's yours, you have to put it back as close as possible to the way you found it and play it.
1/19/13
 
windowsurfer says:
I am going golfing now, but def want to place my proxy with mjaber if there is a, "Is mjaber smarter than Tiger contest?" I will continue to vote for mjaber until he comes up against Dustin Johnson.
1/19/13
 
onedollarwed says:
@Duke's link: Wow, that part about not being able to repair the pitch mark until after hitting would be a bad one to get tripped up by as well....
1/19/13
 
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