Saturday, April 25, 2015

Ask Linda #1039b-One final comment on “Disputed double hit”

Hi Linda,
I wanted to expand a bit on the answers to this question. Not only is a marker and even a fellow-competitor obliged to report to a player that player's breach of the rules, but a marker or fellow-competitor who fails to do so may be subject to disqualification. See decisions 33-7/9, 6-6a/5 and 1-3/6.
Lou from Meridian, Idaho

Dear Lou,

I am certain I have addressed disqualification for a marker or fellow competitor who knowingly fails to report an observed breach of the Rules in a previous column, but it bears repetition.

You are doing no one a favor by failing to inform a fellow competitor that he has committed an infraction. If the player does not add the penalty strokes to his score and therefore signs an incorrect scorecard, he is disqualified. If it is discovered that you knew about the infraction and failed to tell the player, you will most likely also be disqualified.

Players need to understand that others who point out their infractions should be thanked, not scorned. It might make it easier for everyone concerned if the observer said something like: “I believe that what you just did is against the Rules. Let’s explain what happened to the Committee before you sign your scorecard. They will know best what to do. There’s no harm if I’m wrong, and if I am right, I will save you from disqualification.” A little tact goes a long way to keeping the competition pleasant.

In match play, of course, a player is permitted to ignore his opponent’s breach of a Rule, but only if his opponent is unaware that he did so. If both players choose to ignore an infraction, they are both disqualified [Rule 2-5, Note 1].

Those of you who would like to better understand this responsibility to report infractions should read the three Decisions cited by Lou. I will summarize them briefly.

Decision 6-6a/5 talks about the case of a player who is unaware of a penalty and a marker who is aware but fails to notify anyone. The player is disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard, and the marker should also be disqualified.

In Decision 1-3/6, both players are aware that one has infringed a Rule (failure to hole out), and both fail to report it prior to the player signing his card. Again, the player is disqualified, and the marker should be disqualified along with him.

Finally, Decision 33-7/9 informs us that it is everyone’s responsibility –not just the player and his marker– to report infractions in order to protect the field. Anyone observing a breach of the Rules is obligated to inform the player, his marker, or the Committee. A player who deliberately withholds information that allows a player to return an incorrect scorecard should be disqualified.

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