Thursday, January 22, 2015

Ask Linda #984-Relief from reflected sun

Hi Linda,
We are running a 5-course 5-day tournament here and have one course that has fairway distance markers that are shiny enough to reflect the sun. I was called to rule on a situation where when the player took his stance the reflection of the sun was so placed that he could not see the ball.
I took a stance and tried to see what he was talking about and it was extremely difficult to see the ball. It was a full field day and players were closely following. I advised him that he would not get relief from the distance marker causing the problem and to get on with it.

Interested in your thoughts.

Lou from New Zealand

Dear Lou,

It seems that every time I start to think I have answered every imaginable question on the Rules of Golf, someone pulls a new card out of his sleeve!

Your ruling was correct. Players are not permitted to accept physical assistance or protection from the elements while making a stroke [Rule 14-2a]. Throwing a towel over the distance marker, for example, would be prohibited. Unless the marker interferes with the player’s stance or area of intended swing (for which there is free relief under Rule 24), it’s time to put on sunglasses, pull down the brim of your hat, and (as you say) get on with it.

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