Friday, January 24, 2014

Ask Linda #782-Stroke and distance for ball in rubbish bin

Linda, I recently had a discussion after a round with some older members of our club.

A player hit his ball off the tee and it went straight into a rubbish bin not far from the tee area. OOPS.

He then said: "that ball is lost" and proceeded to put a ball on another tee and hit it onto the green.

Most of the people at the table during the discussion were of the opinion that he could not do this, but I said he could as he used the stroke and distance penalty and was lying 3 on the green.

I know in the book it indicates that you cannot declare a ball lost by verbally stating so and as soon as he hit the second ball off the tee the first one was lost. 

The main question from the table was do you have to go forward to see the ball and then decide, or as it says in rule 27 1-a: “AT ANY TIME, a player may…proceed under penalty of stroke and distance.”

Lou from New Zealand

Dear Lou,

A player may hit a ball under stroke and distance whenever he wishes to do so [Rule 27-1a]. There is no requirement to rummage in the trash bin for the ball.

The fact that a player may not “declare” his ball to be lost is irrelevant. As soon as he puts another ball in play under stroke and distance, the new ball is in play and the original is lost under the Rules [Definition of “Lost Ball,” section “c”].

For those of you who may be new to the Rules of Golf, “stroke and distance” means hitting another ball from where you hit your previous shot and adding a one-stroke penalty to your score.

Copyright © 2014 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.