Friday, November 8, 2013
Ask Linda #744-Play wrong holes
A couple of questions;
1. We are we're playing a course with 27 holes. We inadvertently took a wrong turn and played 1 1/2 holes on the wrong course. Is there a penalty for doing so?
2. Are you allowed to rub your ball on the green to clean it?
Lou from Melbourne, Australia
The Definition of Stipulated Round states that the holes must be played in their correct order. The penalty in stroke play for playing additional holes in the middle of the round is disqualification [Decision 3/2]. The same penalty would apply for playing the correct holes out of order.
In match play, there is no penalty if playing the extra holes was unintentional. Extending this a little further, if players in a match accidentally leave out a hole or mistakenly play a hole out of order, there is no penalty. However, if either of these acts is on purpose, the players are disqualified [Decisions 2-1/3, /4, and /5].
A player is permitted to clean his ball by rubbing it on the putting green. However, the sole purpose must be to clean the ball, and not to test the surface of the green. Since doing so might arouse suspicions as to your intentions, it is best to find some other way to clean your ball [Decision 16-1d/5]. I would recommend carrying a towel onto the green.
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