Thursday, August 29, 2013

Ask Linda #716-Playing a match during stroke play competition

Hi Linda,

We played four ball (best ball) on the weekend as a haggle amongst ourselves, though the primary competition at the club was a stroke play round of best net. While on the green one of our opponent's balls was 3 feet or so past the hole. His partner was putting from around 30 feet away and I asked him did he want the other ball marked. He declined, putted and hit his partner's ball with his own when the putt ran past the hole.

I believe that in match play there is no penalty and that his ball stays where it is and the ball that was moved should be put back as close as possible to the original position. However, because the primary competition was stroke play, I said he incurred a 2-stroke penalty, which in effect caused them to lose the hole anyway.

I'm guessing the problem here is playing two different formats at the same time. Clarification about the issue of hitting another ball when both are on the putting green would be appreciated, both for match play and stroke play.

Many thanks.
Lou from New Zealand

Dear Lou,

Please look at the following Rule:

33-1. Conditions; Waiving Rule
The Committee must establish the conditions under which a competition is to be played.
The Committee has no power to waive a Rule of Golf.
Certain specific Rules governing stroke play are so substantially different from those governing match play that combining the two forms of play is not practicable and is not permitted. The result of a match played in these circumstances is null and void and, in the stroke play competition, the competitors are disqualified.
There is no penalty for hitting another ball on the green in match play; there is a two-stroke penalty for hitting another ball on the green in stroke play. This Rule is in effect when the player is putting on the green [Rule 19-5a].

You may never play stroke play and match play simultaneously. The Rules are not the same, and you will get into trouble, as you did in the scenario you describe.

Copyright © 2013 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.