The Artful Dropper

It’s never a good feeling when reaching in the bag for a new ball to put in play. Losing an orb to a hazard is both frustrating and bad for scoring. It may even feel worse to find the ball and be forced to drop due to its lack of playability. Either way, when we have to reach for our rule book it’s a sign of trouble.

Dropping sounds like a simple practice, but in reality, it’s something that requires a bit of skill. There is obviously an element of chance involved — balls do bounce after all. However, the artful dropper can both find a good spot and land the ball there.

The rules for dropping have changed quite a bit over the years, but it has always been something great golfers pay special attention to. The modern version is surely to the player’s advantage. To release the ball from knee-high yields much better control over the end result. Good lies from the drop have become much more plentiful. Still, some golfers have shown a proclivity for dropping their penalty shot safely in desirable places.

A bad drop is one of golf’s worst possible results. The relief is costly, to begin with, and when it results in a poor spot to play from we feel shorted by the golf gods. With the ball in hand, it’s important that we get the drop right. Those are the little differences that add up when the round ends. Show me a golfer who carefully studies their drops and I’ll wager they have a low handicap.


If you enjoy these daily stories, you might like my new book, The Nine Virtues of Golf. It debuted earlier this year as the #1 new release golf book on Amazon.

-J