Thursday, April 9, 2015

Ask Linda #1036-Player finds identical balls with no markings

Linda, what would the ruling be in the following situation in both stroke and match play:
A player hits her shot into the rough, and then goes forward to hit her next shot. She finds a ball the exact same brand and number as the ball she is playing so she plays that ball. After hitting that ball she walks about ten yards farther, and finds an identical ball to the one which she has been playing. Unfortunately, she hasn't put any  personal identification marks on her ball, so she doesn't know which ball was her original ball. How should she proceed?
Lulu from Pennsylvania

Dear Lulu,

If a player is unable to identify her ball, her ball is lost under the Rules. In match play she loses the hole because she hit a “wrong” ball [Rule 15-3a]. In stroke play, she incurs a two-stroke penalty for hitting a wrong ball, and must play another ball under stroke and distance. The total number of penalty strokes in stroke play is three.

Does anyone think it’s important yet to draw a personal mark on every ball in your bag?

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