Linda, I played in a tournament yesterday and an incident occurred that was covered in decision 19/1. I'm still unsure if we followed the correct procedure after looking at 19/1. A player's shot struck his golf cart when his partner was at the wheel and the cart was stationary. The cart was sitting ahead of the spot from which the player was playing. Besides this being a very dangerous situation, does the player incur a one shot penalty?
Dear Lou Lou,
You applied the rule correctly, Lou. A player incurs a one-stroke penalty when his ball strikes his own equipment [Rule 19-2]. When a cart carrying a player’s equipment is stationary, it is deemed to be the cart of the player hitting the ball[Decision 19/1].
I am going to expand on this topic in an attempt to clarify additional questions I suspect my answer will raise.
A. If the cart is in motion when the ball hits it, and the driver of the cart is not the partner of the player who hit the ball, then:
(1) in stroke play, it is a rub of the green and the ball is played as it lies [Rule 19-4];
(2) in match play, the player would have the option of playing the ball as it lies or replaying the stroke [Rule 19-3].
B. If the cart is in motion when the ball hits it, and the driver of the cart is the partner of the player who hit the ball, then the player incurs a one-stroke penalty and must play the ball as it lies [Rule 19-2].
While it may be advisable, for safety’s sake, to not drive a cart ahead of a player hitting a ball, sometimes pace of play considerations might put a golfer in such a position. In those cases, the player driving the cart should be aware that a player is about to hit and make an effort to park the cart out of any potential line of fire.
Copyright © 2010 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.