Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ask Linda #760-Spare ball on tee

Linda, I played a match today with a woman who always brings a spare ball to the tee box (in case she has to hit a provisional) and leaves it sitting behind her in the tee box rather than keep it in her pocket.  Our opponent said that this is not allowed claiming that it constitutes "2 balls in play."  Is she correct?  And if so, can the ball be legally left in the rough just off the tee box?

Lulu from Long Island, New York

Dear Lulu,

A ball is not “in play” until a player has hit it from the teeing ground. Therefore, a spare ball on the ground behind the player is not “in play.”

I like the time-saving idea of having an extra ball handy in case a provisional becomes necessary, but I’m puzzled as to why the player can’t store it in her pocket.  

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