Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ask Linda #280-Ball hits cart

Hello Linda,
I hope you can help me with this little problem....

My ball was in a bunker close to the green and there was a golf cart parked on the other side of the green. When I hit the ball, it did not stay on the green; it rolled down a little hill and hit the parked golf cart. The cart was not mine.

Do I incur a penalty because the ball was stopped by a moveable object? (I had no expectation at all that the ball would hit the cart when I made my shot.)

Thanks so much for your help.  I always appreciate your emails.

Dear Lulu,

While it is true that a golf cart is movable, it is not a movable obstruction. Under the Rules of Golf, a cart is defined as “equipment.” That definition applies to all golf carts, whether they be electric, gas, or hand.

In stroke play, the equipment of a fellow competitor is an “outside agency.” When your ball is stopped or deflected by an outside agency, it is officially called a “rub of the green.” There is no penalty to anyone, and you will play the ball as it lies [Rules 19-4 and 19-1].

In match play, there would also be no penalty if your ball hit another player’s equipment. However, the resulting procedure differs. Match play offers you two choices: (1) play the ball as it lies, or (2) cancel the stroke and hit again. If you choose to hit again, when you are on the teeing ground you may re-tee; if you are on the putting green you will place the ball; and if you are anywhere else you must drop a ball.

While we’re on the topic, you should know that when your ball strikes your own equipment, you must play that ball as it lies and add one penalty stroke to your score.

Copyright © 2011 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.