Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ask Linda #695-Wrong teeing ground

Hi Linda,

Hoping you can clarify this for us. As I have mentioned before, we are a small 9-hole club and use 2 sets of tees to play our 18 holes. Most of the teeing areas are separated by at least 10 metres and marked with different coloured tee markers. However our 2nd hole tee block doesn't allow us much room to differentiate the markers. This often leads to people mistakenly teeing off the wrong marker. I know the rule for teeing off in front of the markers. Does this also apply to teeing off from the wrong teeing ground?

Also, in another incident we had a couple of players say that they both played off the wrong tee but didn't realise until they had already started the next hole. It was a social game so not important, but they felt that because they had both made the same mistake it didn't matter. I said that had it been a tournament they would both probably be disqualified for not correcting the mistake. Just to confirm, it is a 2-stroke penalty in stroke play and optional to get the player to replay the tee shot without penalty in match play? The main clarification I’m looking for is what happens if all players in the group make the same mistake.

Just to clarify, there is no difference in distance to the hole on the tee block in question; the markers are side by side. Someone has suggested the simplest solution would be to keep the tee markers beside each other so the teeing ground doesn't vary at all.

Many thanks
Lou from Great Barrier Island, NZ

Dear Lou,

In stroke play, if a player tees off from outside the teeing ground or from the wrong teeing ground, he incurs a two-stroke penalty and must play a ball from the correct teeing ground. If he tees off on the next hole without correcting his mistake, he is disqualified [Rules 11-4 and 11-5]. If all the players in the group make the same mistake, they all incur the same penalty (two strokes if corrected in time, disqualification if not).

In match play, there is no penalty, but the player’s opponent may require that the player cancel the stroke and play from the correct teeing ground.

Since the teeing area is so small on your second hole, and hitting from the wrong markers is a recurring problem with a severe penalty, the suggestion to place the markers together on that hole is a good one. It has my vote.

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