By Golf Monthly
GM Rules guru Jezz Ellwood explains the term 'General Area'
What Is The General Area On A Golf Course?
One of the terms you'll find in the back of the rule book is the 'General Area' and it's a term that was introduced in the 2019 revisions.
It was previously known as 'through the green'.
Related: 10 Biggest golf rule myths
Essentially it applies to any area of the golf course that isn't one of the four set, defined areas.
Those four areas are:
- Penalty areas, which used to be known as hazards
- The putting green of the hole you're playing
- The teeing area that you start from
Related: What is the general penalty in golf?
Those are four defined areas of the course and everything else is classed as the 'general area' so things like the rough, fairway and fringe.
The teeing area does only apply to the teeing area of the hole that you're playing so if you hit your ball onto a different hole's teeing area, it is classed as the general area.
It only becomes the teeing area when you start that hole, and then the teeing area is only a small area - the rectangle of the extremities of the tee markers going two club lengths back.
Related: 10 Rules golfers still get wrong
If you hit your ball onto the wrong green, that too is considered part of the general area.
The term 'putting green' only applies to the hole you are playing, but if you do hit it onto the wrong green you must take free relief away from the green.
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