Friday, August 31, 2012

Ask Linda #516-Rake bunker before drop

First - I very much enjoy your blog. Please keep it going.
When playing from a bunker, if the ball is hit OB can the player rake the bunker before making his/her drop? It appears rule 13-4 exception 2 provides the player this opportunity – “the player may smooth sand or soil in the hazard without restriction.”
Lou Lou

Dear Lou,

Yes. Once the ball is outside the hazard, the player is free to rake to his heart’s content. He may also take several practice swings that touch the sand. There are no restrictions on what you may do in the bunker after you hit your ball out of the bunker [Decision 13-4/37].

Copyright © 2012 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ask Linda #515-Original ball found in hazard after player drops another


Player A hits his second shot into a lateral hazard. The player is unable to find his ball so the player measures two club lengths from where the ball entered the hazard and drops another ball within the two club lengths. Player B then finds Player A's the ball in the hazard within five minutes and the ball may be playable.

Is Player A permitted to play the ball that was found by Player B or must Player A play the ball that he dropped before Player B found his ball?

Thank you.

Dear Lou,

Player A has dropped the ball correctly, and he must play that ball. However, if the original ball found by Player B is not in the same area where Player A dropped his ball, Player A must re-drop from the correct reference point with no penalty [Decision 26-1/3.5]. When he re-drops, he may choose any of the relief options available under the water hazard rule (26-1). However, he may not play the original ball from the hazard [Decision 26-1/16].

This assumes the player has not yet hit the ball dropped in the incorrect area. If the ball dropped in the wrong place has already been played, the player must continue with that ball. Surprisingly, there is no penalty in this situation for playing from a wrong place [Decision 26-1/17].

This may be easier to understand if I walk you through it with Lulu and Tubby, who are playing the ninth hole at Paradise Golf Course. Lulu hits her second shot all the way across the fairway into the lateral hazard that runs along the right side. Both Lulu and Tubby are certain the ball is in the hazard, and they both agree on where it entered the hazard. Lulu searches for her ball for two minutes, gives up the search, and drops a ball within two club-lengths of the hazard margin, no closer to the hole. She adds a one-stroke penalty to her score for the hole. The scene is now set. Let’s see what happens in the following scenarios:

1. Lulu immediately hits the dropped ball. This is the end of the story. If her original ball is found, the only thing she can do with it is put it in her pocket.

2. Tubby finds the ball in the hazard two minutes later in the area where both players expected to find it. The ball is playable. Lulu may not play her original ball. She has properly dropped a ball and it is officially her ball in play. She must continue play with the dropped ball.

3. Tubby finds the ball two minutes later 20 yards closer to the green.
    (a) If Lulu has already played the ball she dropped, she must continue with that ball. Both she and Tubby honestly thought she was dropping at the correct place, so she will incur no extra penalty for playing from a wrong place.
    (b) If Lulu has not played the dropped ball, she must lift that ball and drop at the correct place. She still has all the water hazard relief options available, but she has lost the chance to hit the ball as it lies in the hazard.

Copyright © 2012 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ask Linda #514-Clubs overhanging bunker

Hi Linda,

At golf today we had a situation…

I approached a bunker with 2 clubs, a putter, plus a towel. I collected the sand rake and dropped it nearby for use after my shot. I dropped the towel on the grass & lay my 2 clubs I wasn't using on top but slightly hanging into the bunker. I played my shot, raked the sand, & retrieved my clubs & finished the hole in correct order.
Another player (not my marker) said she thought that was a penalty & to put a mark on my card with “6?”
My marker said she didn't see anything, said she was the marker and left the score as a 5. What is the correct ruling?
We were playing Stroke play.

Thanks ...BTW I think your blog is fabulous.
REGARDS, LULU from New Zealand

Dear Lulu,

A player is permitted to place her clubs in the bunker. This does not constitute testing the condition of the hazard [Decision 13-4/0.5]. Indeed, you may place your entire bag in the hazard if you wish. During the winter, when I prefer to carry my bag, I will bring it into a bunker with me if I plan to exit at another spot.

So the answer to your first question is “no.” There is no penalty for placing your clubs in the bunker, or for placing them outside the bunker overhanging the edge and touching the sand.

Any player who witnesses what may be a Rules violation is obligated to report it. All questions regarding the Rules should be resolved by the Committee at the end of your round, before you sign your scorecard. Your marker should record a 5, followed by a question mark or other notation that will remind both of you to ask the Committee for a ruling on the possible violation.

Copyright © 2012 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Ask Linda #513-Wrong handicap on scorecard

Dear Linda,

On the weekend, our club was hosting Round 1 of our annual club championship. The club championship runs over four rounds. One player marked his handicap on his card as 15 when it should have been 14. He signed his card at the end of the round and submitted it. Is he disqualified from both the gross and net events?

Kind Regards,

Dear Lou,

The player is disqualified from the net event, since the handicap he recorded gives him one more stroke than the number of strokes he is entitled to receive [Rule 6-2b].

The player is not disqualified from the gross event [Decision 33-1/13].

Copyright © 2012 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Ask Linda #512a-Response to #512


Since the matter of cleaning a ball when lifted on the putting green, and the matter of lifting when there is interference came up here [Ask Linda #512], it might be worthwhile mentioning Rule 21, which prohibits cleaning a ball when lifted for interference from a place off the putting green. 

You do a great job and I look forward to your email Q's and A's.

Lou from Georgia

Dear Lou,

Good suggestion. I will edit #512 to include the prohibition against cleaning your ball when it must be lifted because it interferes with another golfer’s play anywhere on the course except the putting green. This prohibition is also included in Rule 22-2.

Thanks, Lou.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Ask Linda #512-Required to mark ball on green?


As a rule expert, I would like to know if it is mandatory that I mark and pick up my golf ball once it is on the greens. Is it mandatory that the ball be picked up and marked or is this mostly done as a courtesy? I did read where a player may asked that you mark your ball if he feels that it may interfere with the putt. I do notice that PGA player do mark their balls once on the green but I want to know if this is mandatory.

Thank you,

Dear Lou,

The Rule states that a ball on the putting green may be lifted. Thus, lifting your ball is optional, not mandatory. However, in stroke play, if your friend Jack putts from on the green and his ball hits yours, Jack incurs a two-stroke penalty. Therefore, it has become customary, primarily in stroke play, to mark and lift your ball on the putting green. If your ball lies on a remote part of the green where there is zero chance that another player’s putt will hit it, it is not necessary to lift your ball.

Most players prefer to lift their ball, regardless of where it lies, so that they can clean it before putting.

In match play, there is less need to lift a ball on the green because there is no penalty for hitting another ball on the green.

If another player asks you to lift your ball because it might interfere with his play, you are required to do so [Rule 22-2]. This is true anywhere on the course. On the putting green, you may be asked to move it one or more club-head lengths to one side so that your marker will not be on another player’s line of putt.

Be aware that if you are asked to lift your ball because it interferes with another golfer's play, and your ball is not on a putting green, you may not clean it. Hold it carefully in two fingers, and don't drop it into your pocket.

Copyright © 2012 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Ask Linda #511-Divot moves ball

Dear Linda

We played in wet conditions and we could lift and clean our balls. On hole 9 before I got to my ball I made a swing (about 3 meters behind the ball while waiting) and the divot from the swing hit the my ball and moved it. I replaced the ball, then lifted it cleaned it and played on. My scoring partner gave me a one shot penalty – is there a penalty or not?

Lou from South Africa

Dear Lou,

Yes, Lou. There is a one-stroke penalty for causing your ball to move [Rule 18-2 (i)]. You must replace the ball. If you do not, the penalty increases to two strokes.

Copyright © 2012 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Ask Linda #510-Ball moved by player


During a stroke round yesterday there were two instances where a ball, at rest, was moved by the player. The first time was when his ball was on the green. The player, under the mistaken belief that one of our playing group had marked his ball as he was busy raking a bunker, picked up his ball. When instructed otherwise he replaced it as close as possible to its original position. The second time, on another hole, a provisional ball was played from the tee. Both his balls finished within 50 yards of each other and when we approached the area two balls were visible. On the belief that one of the two balls was his original ball in play the player picked up his provisional ball and proceed to the other ball. However this ball was not his and on further searching the original ball was not found. The player then went back to where his provisional ball had lay and replaced it, again as close as possible to its original position.

Does rule 18-2 apply here, and is this the only rule that applies? In other words a penalty of one stroke in both cases.

Lou from Australia

Dear Lou,

Yes. Rule 18-2a tells us that if a player lifts his ball in play he must replace it and add a one-stroke penalty to his score. This is the Rule that applies in both your scenarios.

Copyright © 2012 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.