NCG's Golf Glossary: What is a drop?

Don’t know your dormies from your doglegs? NCG’s Golf Glossary is here to help

Here at NCG we pride ourselves on being the publication for the everyday player, so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to delve into the wonderful world of the golfing lexicon.

Sometimes the most obvious terms have the most interesting story, so you might find yourself an interesting conversation starter…

What is a drop?

A drop occurs when a golfer hits their ball in an area from which they can’t play another shot. This could either be in a water, a bush or simply gone out of bounds.

If the ball hasn’t gone out of bounds but the golfer feels they can’t hit the next shot they can take a drop shot but it usually results in a penalty.

How would I use it in a sentence?

“The player hit the ball in the water and therefore had to take a drop at the expense of a one shot penalty”

What are the origins?

The first version of the drop shot was created in golf’s original list of rules in 1744.

By 1842 the rule had been modified and a player was awarded a three stroke penalty if they had to take a drop because their ball went out of bounds. This was known as ‘three strokes and distance’.

In 1951, the USGA and R&A decided that the rule should be changed to a distance and universal stroke penalty.

Any other business?

Spieth drop shot

As you will remember, the ‘unplayable lie’ drop shot was one of the major reasons that Jordan Spieth was able to lift the Claret Jug in 2017.

Spieth’s ball landed on a mound nearly 100 yards right of the 13th fairway. The American used his knowledge of the rules to take advantage of the bad situation he found himself in.

He took an unplayable lie and still managed to record a bogey which regained his momentum as he became Champion Golfer of the Year.

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