Monday, October 7, 2013

Ask Linda #730-Retrieve ball for stroke and distance


There is some confusion at our golf club as to the substituted ball and what penalty you would get if you played a wrongly substituted ball.

Can you substitute a ball when playing stroke and distance, or must you collect the original ball?

A golfer hits a tee shot into a bunker way down the fairway. She wants to call the ball unplayable and replay the shot, but it would hold up play to go and get the original ball so she plays another ball from the tee without saying it is a provisional. Is that still just playing stroke and distance so she would be playing her 3rd shot from the tee, or is there another penalty for not collecting the original ball after declaring it unplayable?
Lulu from Australia

Dear Lulu,

You do not have to retrieve your original ball when you play under stroke and distance.

When the Rules refer to “a” ball, it means you may substitute a ball; you do not have to retrieve the original ball. When the Rules refer to “the” ball, you must play your original ball. The stroke and distance Rule refers to “a” ball [Rule 27-1].

A player may play “a” ball under stroke and distance whenever she chooses. “Stroke and distance” means hitting another shot from where the previous shot was taken and adding one penalty stroke to your score.

Copyright © 2013 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.