Under Rule 14.3, when taking relief, the player will always be allowed the choice of substituting a ball or using the original ball, including:
The requirement to use the original ball in some relief situations but not others is confusing, hard to remember and leads to unnecessary penalties. Taking a consistent approach that always allows a player the choice of substituting a ball or using the original ball is much simpler.
There is no need for a different procedure based on whether the player is taking relief with penalty or without penalty:
This change will eliminate the need when taking free relief whether the original ball is "not immediately recoverable", which can raise questions in various cases such as when the ball is in a few inches of temporary water or is under a prickly bush.
This will also draw a clearer and more intuitive line between when substitution is allowed in returning a ball to play and when the original ball must be returned to play:
Copyright © 2018 England Golf. All rights reserved. England Golf is a company registered in England and Wales. Registered number: 5564018. Registered office: The National Golf Centre, Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire LN10 6PU.