Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Ask Linda #690-ID ball in tree

Linda, I was playing a game recently when I drove a ball to the right and I assume it stayed in a tree. I would like to know if I can declare my ball unplayable without climbing the tree. I saw a ball with a black line similar to my ball, as I draw a black line on the ball to help my aligning it when putting. I did not climb the tree because I am 69 years old and would probably injure myself. I saw a professional do that at a PGA tournament WGC in March 2013 and he was not penalized or disqualified. My playing opponent said I should go back and play it stroke and distance, I said the pro's do not so why would I.
What is the official rule?
Lou from Barbados

Dear Lou,

You must identify your ball in order to proceed under one of the options for an unplayable ball. If you cannot identify it, it is lost [Definition of Lost Ball], and you must play your next ball under stroke and distance [Decision 27/15].

No one expects you to climb the tree! You may use binoculars to help identify your ball, and you may throw things at it to try to dislodge it.

When you saw the PGA player declare his ball unplayable, he must have been able to identify the ball as his – he would not have been permitted to treat the ball as “unplayable” without proper identification.

Copyright © 2013 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.