Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Ask Linda #787a-Practice prior to round

Hi Linda,

Your recent answer to Ask Linda #787 clarified the question of practicing during a round but I have a further question in this regard.

In the weekly stroke play competitions at my club it is common for members to practice chipping from one of the tee boxes at the first hole while waiting for their turn to tee off. 
I have also seen players hit practice balls from a point adjacent to the first tee onto the 18th fairway. 
Both of these practices, I believe, constitute a violation of Rule 7-2.

Am I correct?
Lou from Florida 

Dear Lou,

You’re wrong about the chipping, Lou, and right about the practice shots.

A player is permitted to practice chipping on or near the first tee box prior to starting his round [Rule 7-1b, Exception].

In stroke play, a player may not hit practice shots on the course prior to the start of his round [Rule 7-1b]. The penalty is disqualification. Once the round has begun, the penalty for taking practice shots is two strokes [Rule 7-2].

However, in match play, a player is permitted to practice on the course before a round; practice shots from the first tee to the 18th fairway would not be penalized [Rule 7-1a].

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