Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ask Linda #255-Stepping on ball

My ball in play was lost in thick rough which was all covered by newly mowed grass. While searching, I accidentally stepped on a ball. Upon verification (without touching) I saw that it was my ball (with my marker clearly seen), however, it was embedded due to me stepping onto it. Questions (1) Is there a penalty for stepping on my ball while searching? (2) If it is embedded due to me stepping on it, am I entitled to relief without penalty? (3) If not, can I declare unplayable and take a one-stroke penalty? Appreciate your comments. Thank you
Lou Lou

Dear Lou Lou,

When you step on your ball and push it into the ground you incur a one-stroke penalty for moving your ball in play under Rule 18-2a. Since the original lie of the ball is altered (it wasn’t embedded until you stepped on it), you must place it in the nearest spot that is most similar to your original lie that is within one club-length of your original lie [Rule 20-3b].

There is no penalty if you move another player’s ball in the process of searching for it. If that happens, the ball must be replaced.

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