Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ask Linda #737-Putt hits partner’s ball

Hi Linda,

Recently four of us were playing Match play.

All four balls were on the green. The player furthest away from the hole asked his partner to leave the ball so that he could use it to line up his putt. When he played his shot his ball hit his partner’s ball and went into the hole.

Who gets penalized, the player putting, the player who left the ball there, both or neither? I’m guessing this comes under rule 9.2 b??

It was a friendly game between mates so didn’t really matter but we did have some fun discussing the rights and wrongs of what happened but came to no conclusion.

Can you help?

Kind regards,
Lou from England

Dear Lou,

I think the answer may surprise you, Lou.

In match play (as opposed to stroke play, which I will address later on), there is no penalty if a player putts his ball on the green and strikes another ball on the green. Neither the player nor his partner is penalized when the one ball ricochets off the other ball into the hole, and the ball is holed [Rule 19-5a].

However, a player is always entitled to have another ball lifted if he feels it will assist anyone’s play [Rule 22-1]. One of the opponents should have told the player to mark and lift the ball that was in a position to help his partner. Since neither player on the opposing team thought to make this request, they are stuck with the result.

Stroke play is an entirely different story. When a player putts from on the green and his ball strikes another ball on the green, the player incurs a two-stroke penalty. The moved ball must be replaced; the ball that was putted will be played as it lies.

Copyright © 2013 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.