Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Ask Linda #943-Sand blast moves partner’s ball

Hi Linda,
Match play. Our two opponents are in the same bunker right next to each other. One player hits her ball out of the bunker. In the process she moves her partner's ball, not touching it but moving it with the explosion of sand. Is that moved ball to be moved back to its original lie? What are the penalties if they are incurred and to whom do they apply?
Lulu from California

Dear Lulu,

An important principle of golf is that a player is entitled to the lie and line of play that she had when her ball came to rest. The moved ball must be replaced. Since this occurred in a bunker, the original lie must be re-created as accurately as possible and the ball placed in that lie [Rule 20-3b (iii)]. There is no penalty to either player.

If a player suspects that another ball may interfere with her stroke, she may ask to have it lifted. The other player would mark and lift her ball, and she would not be permitted to clean it [Rule 22-2]. In a bunker, it would be a good idea to make careful note of the original lie before lifting such a ball, since the lie will have to be restored if it is altered. The requirement to re-create the lie applies only to a ball in a bunker; elsewhere, if the original lie is altered, the player must place the ball in a nearby similar lie that is within one club-length and no closer to the hole [Rule 20-3b (i)].

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