Knee Drop Rule

Golf balls must be dropped from knee height when taking relief.

Drop Rules in Golf

The Rules of Golf can be confusing, especially the drop rules in golf.

Knee-High Drop Rule in Golf

One of the aspects of golf that is unique compared to other sports is that golfers call penalties on themselves. Self-Rule is just one of the many reasons I feel golf is an excellent game for children to learn because it can instill self-discipline.

This quirk trait also puts an onus on golfers to know how to interpret the rules to interpret and apply the rules as situations present themselves. Knowledge of the Rules of Golf helps to avoid complications that can arise when golfers must impose interpret the rules rulings.  

Sometimes misinterpretations of the rules can result in some hilarity on the course. A friend of mine thought an unplayable lie was telling your wife you were at an IT seminar when you were on the course.

Recently (2019), the USGA implemented numerous changes to the rules, and some confusion ensued in the first few months on golf courses around the country. As time has passed, golfers have absorbed and adapted to the changes for the most part, including the knee drop rules in golf.

You can find a helpful series of articles about the most recent rule changes at GolfersRx.   Look at the Golf Rules tab and the many interpretations from Yves C. Ton-That.  He is an international rules official and author of award-winning books.  His handy rules guide “Golf Rules Quick Reference“ is the world‘s best-selling golf book.

But puzzlingly, one rule change that I thought would be welcome is Rule 14.3, which states that ‘golf balls must be dropped from knee height when taking relief.’ There’s a lot more stuff in rule 14.3, but this knee-height could be misinterpreted, especially by the thick-headed that golf amongst us. 

And it seems the “drop from the shoulder” rule is seemingly ingrained in many golfers. I guess the worse weaker players, like myself, have a hard time letting go from the knees and not the shoulders, probably because we dropped far more balls than our skilled golfing cohorts. 

I had taken pride in my shoulder drop technique. Feet together, staring straight ahead, like a signal corpsman on an aircraft carrier flagging an approaching jet, I would use the perfect form to make my drop. I even got compliments on my form from many veterans of the naval air corps. 

But with With time and patience, I have adjusted to the knee drop rules in golf. But I have to say the form and posture of the knee drop lacks the elegance of the old shoulder drop. 

There are no rules officials during a typical Saturday morning match at the local Muni. No Slugger Whites. So I encourage all golfers to be patient and be specific when explaining the new rules to the misinformed or, more kindly, under-informed masses when explaining the “from your knees.”


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