Thursday, November 6, 2014

Ask Linda #944-Ball moved by groundskeeper

My ball landed in a greenside bunker, and as we were walking down the fairway towards the green, a groundskeeper arrived from another part of the course and proceeded to rake the bunker, but not before throwing my ball onto the putting surface where it landed about a foot from the flag. I waited until he had finished raking, then collected my ball and dropped it approximately where I thought it could have been in the bunker and then proceeded with play. When I made enquiries to ascertain that I done the correct thing, I have been receiving the most conflicting replies. Some say I should have played it “as it lies” on the putting surface. I cannot find anything in the Rules of Golf book that relates to this situation, so can you please help? Thank you!
Lulu from Australia

Dear Lulu,

A groundskeeper is an “outside agency.” When a ball is moved by an outside agency, there is no penalty and the ball must be replaced [Rule 18-1]. If you are able to determine the exact spot, you will place the ball; if not, you must drop it [Rule 20-3c].

Your procedure was correct, Lulu. Well done!

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