Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Ask Linda #772.5-Warm ball in pocket

Hi Linda,
It's not always warm down here in Florida. In fact we teed off this morning with temps at 46 degrees. Since early days walking and carrying my bag, riding now, I've carried two balls, one in each pocket. Because I've been told warm balls go further, I alternate balls from each pocket till it warms up. I do not change once I've teed off, only at the tees. Is this legal? My partners know this and don't object; in fact they think it's a good idea. What do you say?
Lou from Florida           

Dear Lou,

I hope to be long retired from writing answers to golf questions when the USGA decides to ban the use of pockets to carry a spare ball or two!

Yes, you may put your balls in your pockets. Natural body heat is not an artificial device. However, hand warmers are artificial devices. If you put both your ball and a hand warmer in the same pocket for the purpose of warming your ball, you are in breach of Rule 14-3. The penalty is disqualification. You are not in breach of this Rule if you artificially warm your balls prior to the start of your round [Decision 14-3/13.5].

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