Four Options When Hitting Into Red Penalty Area

Josh Kelley

Josh Kelley

SwingU Instructor

When you hit your ball into a red-lined or staked penalty area, you have four options at your disposal. First and foremost, you can play the ball as it lies without a penalty, and you can ground your club in the penalty area as well. 

Your next option is to take lateral relief. Under a one-stroke penalty, find the spot nearest to where you think your ball crossed into the penalty area and take two club-lengths from there no closer to the hole. 

The third option, again under a one-stroke penalty, is to take the point that your ball crossed the penalty area, keep that in line with the flag and go backwards away from the pin as far as you’d like. This is ideal for players who have some obstacles directly in their line of play or those who would like to play their next shot from a specific yardage. 

Lastly, you always have the option when facing a penalty situation to replay the shot from its original position, once again under a one-stroke penalty.