Golf Unplayable Lies

In golf, there are specific times a player may be penalized due to breaking the rules. One of these instances is if a ball is unplayable and they do not follow proper protocol before hitting it. Read on to learn more about how a golfer is penalized if he deems a lie unplayable.

  • Unplayable Lie
  • One Club Length Closest Point to Relief
  • Drop
  • One Stroke Penalty

Unplayable Lie

An unplayable lie occurs when a golfer is unable to perform a golf swing due to a physical object impeding the ability to make a swing.

One Club Length Closest Point to Relief

As a result of having an unplayable lie, a golfer may drop a golf ball one club length from the spot of the ball, and no closer to the hole.


The drop for gaining relief from an unplayable lie cannot be any closer to the hole, and the golfer must complete the drop by holding the ball at shoulder height. After two drops, if the dropped ball is not within the one club length, then the golfer may place the ball within that specified length.

One Stroke Penalty

As the result of taking relief from an unplayable lie, a golfer must add one penalty stroke to his or her score.