Friday, January 31, 2014

Ask Linda #786-Ball hits pole under Local Rule to re-hit


I was playing a course that has a telephone pole next to a green. There is a local rule that states that if you hit the lines or the pole, you must re-hit your shot. This is a par 5 and I was hitting a fairway wood into the green. My shot went toward the pole, but we could not see if it hit it. The angle of the shot was also taking it towards the out-of-bounds. As such, I hit a provisional ball, thinking that my shot may be out-of-bounds. When we got to my ball, it was out-of-bounds, however, a homeowner who lives next to the green and saw my shot, stated that my ball hit the telephone pole and then deflected out-of-bounds.

My question is, because my ball hit the pole, I needed to re-hit. Can I use my provisional ball, which I hit thinking the ball may be out-of-bounds? Or would I need to go back to the original spot and hit another ball. I am assuming if that is the case, I would do so without penalty. 

Lou from Utah

Dear Lou,

You would be required to return to the original spot and hit another ball. You hit the provisional for a ball that may be out of bounds. When you learn that the ball hit the pole, which requires a replay, your play is now governed by the Local Rule, not the Provisional Ball rule. 

There is no penalty when you return and re-hit.

Copyright © 2014 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Ask Linda #785-Player in a different group hits your ball

Hi Linda,

Yesterday we had an incident where one of our golfers in a stroke play round teed off, thought the ball may be lost, so hit a provisional. All her fellow golfers saw where the provisional lay. A male golfer came from an adjacent fairway as they were walking up the fairway. He went to hit the ball that all four golfers knew was our girl’s. We called out to him, but he disagreed. He pointed to another ball close by and went ahead and hit the ball in question and continued on his fairway. 

Our girl arrived at the spot and the other ball was definitely not her ball. The group was all 100% certain the other golfer had hit our girl’s provisional ball. She did not find her original tee shot.  

Not been sure what to do, she decided to call it an outside force that moved her ball and drop another ball. 

Was this correct, or should she have chased after the person who hit her ball, identified it, and retrieved it, or should she have declared it lost and gone back to the tee and hit her 5th shot? 

Also, one of my fellow golfers in the same competition had a brain fade on the putting green. She was trying to hurry her game along, but in lifting her marker she forgot to put her ball down. 

Can this be called an accident in marking, or does she have to take a 1-stroke penalty? 

Lulu from Australia

Dear Lulu,

The player’s procedure was correct. When it is known or virtually certain that an outside agency has moved your ball, you may replace the ball with no penalty [Rule 18-1]. If the ball is not immediately retrievable, you may substitute another ball. The ball will be placed if you know the exact spot where it originally lay; it must be dropped if you do not [Rule 20-3c].

Considering that the other golfer knew there was some dispute as to ownership of the ball, he should have taken care to identify it before hitting it. This was an ignorant and inconsiderate act. You may take solace in knowing that he will be penalized for playing a wrong ball [Rule 15-3].

Moving on to your second question, if a player lifts her ball in play without marking the spot first, she incurs a one-stroke penalty [Rule 18-2a]. A player is only exempt from penalty if the ball was moved during the act of marking and lifting the ball [Rule 20-1]. This was not the case in your scenario, so the player must add one stroke to her score.

Copyright © 2014 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Ask Linda 783a-Match Play: DQ from hole or match?

Hi Linda,

Thank you for your great explanations and clarifications.

Regarding Ask Linda #783-Local Rule for GUR, could you please expand on your guidance to A to "stick to his guns"? I agree with your explanation that A, having reluctantly agreed with B to play from the drain location, is assessed no penalty (and that neither is B if they did not know they were wrong, i.e. if B did not purposefully mislead A). Lou mentions that A did not "stick to his guns" for fear of being disqualified if he ended up being wrong. Of course I always have my rulebook on hand, but thought this question would be of great value for your readers.

Would it be correct to say that if A had "stuck to his guns" and played as he believed to be by the rules, that B would have to specifically state that he is going to protest the action to the committee following the round or else the result of the hole would stand?

Perhaps a more appropriate question is, if A incorrectly "stuck to his guns" on a rule but did not commit a serious breach (perhaps he took relief from a dirt cart path), B correctly protested, and the committee ruled against A, would A have been disqualified or would A have only lost the hole? In other words, was A justified in not wishing to be disqualified in this situation or should he only have been worried about potentially losing the hole, which could likely have been lost anyway by playing from the drain location? Or does it depend on the specific rule?

Ok, enough questions for now. Thank you again for your great rules guidance,

Lou from Arizona

Dear Lou,

Match play is played by hole. If a player does not proceed correctly under the Rules, he will generally lose the hole. A player in a match might be disqualified from the round for a serious breach of etiquette; he would not be disqualified from the round for breaching a Rule.

In match play, if the player is unsure how to proceed, he must decide what to do, and just do it. There is no option to play two balls, as there is in stroke play. If the opponent objects to a player’s procedure, the opponent must file a claim before anyone tees off on the next hole; if they are playing the last hole of the match, the claim must be made before all players have left the putting green. The claim must be submitted to the Committee for a ruling.

For complete details on how and when to file a claim, please read Rule 2-5.

Copyright © 2014 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ask Linda #784-Competitors choose their own tee time

Hi Linda,

I don’t know whether you can answer this, or if it’s a local rule.

The list of tee times went up for everyone to put their names down for the championship. I managed to get the earliest time. To my dismay, while walking down the first hole I saw two ladies, who were 4th on the tee time list, come wandering up the ninth. They had scribbled out their names and booked a private tee time two hours before us to beat the heat.

Surely you can’t do this. They were playing earlier than the starting time for the competition.

If they asked the permission of the captain is it allowed?

Lulu from England

Dear Lulu,

Players are required to start at the time established by the Committee. The fact that a sign-up sheet was used to select tee times does not change this Rule [6-3a]. The penalty for starting at the wrong time is disqualification.

If the Committee has been consulted prior to the tournament and has elected to give players permission to start at a different time, they may do so. The Committee has sole discretion in assigning tee times.

Copyright © 2014 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Ask Linda #783-Local Rule for GUR

Linda, good afternoon from the UK.

Perhaps you can assist regarding a local rule at our club.

The local rule in question states: “Ground Under Repair includes…areas directly above drainage and irrigation lines.” In a recent match-play event, player A took relief under this rule and dropped his ball within one club-length behind the drainage line from which he was entitled to relief. This ball rolled back into the same drainage area from which he was entitled to relief. He re-dropped it and the ball again rolled back. Having rolled back twice, this player felt he was entitled to now place the ball at the spot where it had touched the ground when dropped for the second time.
His opponent, however, player B, insisted that because he had dropped it twice he must now play it from where it lay, on the drainage line where it was originally, and from which relief could be taken under the local rule.
There was considerable disagreement between the two players, but player A, not wishing to be disqualified if he was wrong, played from out of the drainage line where it first finished and from which he was entitled to relief under the local rule.
Can you please advise what the correct procedure should have been and any penalties that may have resulted?

Lou from the UK

Dear Lou,

Player A’s procedure was correct. The player was entitled to relief (stance plus one club-length, no closer to the hole) under the Local Rule. When the ball rolled back into the condition from which he was taking relief, he was required to re-drop. When the re-drop did the same, he was required to place the ball where it hit the ground after the second drop [Rule 20-2c].

Player A should have stuck to his guns. Any Committee would have ruled that his procedure was correct.

Since this was match play, and both players agreed on the procedure (albeit reluctantly on the part of Player A), there is no penalty. In stroke play it would have cost the player two strokes.

This is an easy Rule to find. One of the players could have whipped out a rulebook and located the answer in less time than it took me to write this sentence. Players should carry a rulebook, and should not be afraid to open it when a suitable occasion arises.

Copyright © 2014 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.