Friday, September 27, 2013

Ask Linda #726-Touch a limb on backswing in hazard Sept. 27, 2013

Linda, has Rule 13-4 changed since Brian Davis called a two-stroke penalty on himself in the playoff at the 2010 Verizon Heritage? In his case I believe he brushed a reed during his back swing for his stroke while he was in the hazard on the first playoff hole.

The reason I am asking is that during a tournament at my home course a player made his stoke from the hazard and hit a tree limb during his backswing for his stroke. He did not call a two-stroke penalty on himself. I re-read the note on Rule 13-4 and it seems a little ambiguous.

Would you please clarify?

Dear Lulu,

There is a Note following Rule 13-4 that states that a player may touch any grass, bush, tree, or other growing thing when she addresses the ball or during her backswing.

If a player breaks a limb during her backswing and discontinues her swing, she is penalized two strokes for improving the area of her intended swing [Decision 13-2/14.5]. If she breaks the limb on her backswing, but manages to complete her stroke despite the distraction, she is not penalized, and she deserves a pat on the back!

Brian Davis called a penalty on himself for brushing a loose reed in a hazard during his backswing in the playoff vs. Jim Furyk at the 2010 Verizon Heritage. A loose reed is not a “growing thing” – it is a loose impediment. A player is not permitted to touch or move a loose impediment in a hazard when his ball is in the hazard.

Copyright © 2013 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.