Had a partial whiff and unsure what to do next? Our Rules of Golf expert Steve Carroll gives you a refresher in tee box laws

Despite several practice swings, steely concentration, and a steady nerve, sometimes things don’t go to plan with a driver. Hook, slice, mis-hit, or complete air shot, the ball doesn’t always go very far.

This can lead to a fairly unusual scenario, as Katie Keith outlined in an email: “I flubbed a tee shot and it stopped on a forward tee box.

“Do the same rules apply to all tee boxes on the hole? Can I tee it again from that forward location for my second shot?”

Rules of Golf explained: Golf’s teeing area rules

I think Katie’s referring to Rule 6.2b (6) which says if a player’s ball in play is in the teeing area after a stroke – for example one that’s missed or whiffed at the ball – they can “lift or move the ball without penalty and play that ball or another ball from anywhere in the teeing area from a tee or the ground…including playing the ball as it lies”.

A lot of people either don’t know, or can’t remember, that rule in the aftermath of a tee ball that really hasn’t travelled very far so, if it’s news to you, bookmark this page – or check out the R&A’s Rules of Golf app.

teeing areas rules

Now, where this becomes a bit more difficult in Katie’s case is that the rule applies to the teeing area of the hole in which you’re playing. Rule 6.2a says teeing area rules do not apply to any other teeing locations on the course “whether on the same hole or a different hole”.

Unless your ball lies in the specific teeing area that you had to play from in starting the hole, you would not be able to tee it up again from another location.

One more word of advice. Some clubs bring in Local Rules that force you to take relief should your ball land on another teeing area. So while you’ll often have to play it at it lies, just check your scorecard, or the notice board in the locker room, or wherever your club displays their Local Rules to make sure you don’t unintentionally play from the wrong place.

Have a question for our Rules of Golf expert?

Despite the simplification of the Rules of Golf, there are still some that leave us scratching our heads. And as I’ve passed the R&A’s Level 3 rules exam with distinction, I’ll try to help by featuring the best in this column.

You can read all of Steve’s Rules of Golf explained columns here.

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 23 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former captain and committee member, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the national Tournament Administrators and Referee's Seminar. He has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying and the PGA Fourball Championship. A member of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap.

Handicap: 10.9

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