Sacramento Golf Tips: How to Take Relief in a Red Penalty Area

Taking relief from a red penalty area is similar to a yellow penalty area, with an extra option.

No golfer is perfect. Every now and then we double-bogey an easy putt, hit a hard slice off the tee, fail to get our ball out of a bunker, or make some other simple mistake. It happens; it’s all part of the game. You just have to continue on playing and get back into your groove. But what do you do if you hit your ball into a red penalty area? Let’s break it down for you.

A red penalty area is any area outlined by red lines or red stakes. These will often include water hazards, but can also be densely-forested or rocky areas along the fairway. When your ball lands in one of these areas, you have 3 options for relief.

First, you can take the same relief options available to you in a yellow penalty zone. You can play a new ball from where you took your previous stroke or drop a ball along the line that your ball entered the penalty area.

The unique option in a red penalty zone is called lateral relief. Take note of where your ball entered the penalty area. Instead of going back on the line like with a yellow penalty area, you may instead walk two club lengths away from that point, no closer to the hole, and drop your ball between those two points.

Remember, if you don’t play your ball where it lies, you take a one swing penalty. And that’s how you take relief in a red penalty area!

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