NCG's Golf Glossary: What is a free 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 free drop?

A free drop is when a golfer is allowed a relief without a penalty. This occurs because of multiple situations which include wet ground and ground that is under repair.

How would I use it in a sentence?

“The bunker was ground under repair so the player got a free drop from the bunker”

What are the origins?

There are a number of situations where a player may receive a free drop during a round. These are:

  • Area of the course that is ‘ground under repair’
  • Casual standing water or excessive water that isn’t usually there
  • Young trees that are marked
  • Man made objects that aren’t moveable e.g. bin
  • If you are unable to swing due to a stand or any television equipment is obstructing your shot

Any other business?

When getting a free drop the first thing you usually do is check designated to drop the ball as some holes have a drop zone somewhere.

If not, you need to find the nearest location to try and find complete relief. This means enough relief to have a full swing and a good stance.

After this you ned to mark off one or two clubs lengths dependent on the ruling.

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