Monday, May 11, 2015

Ask Linda #1058-Player confused by OB stakes meant for another hole

Linda, we have two side-by-side golf holes (#2 on the left, #11 on the right). There are white stakes not far off the #2 right fairway which are intended to be used only when playing #11. When teeing off on #2, a player went to the right of the white stakes, interpreted them as out of bounds for her and proceeded to hit another tee shot and played that ball all the way to the green. At the green she was informed that the stakes were not for #2. She did not return to play her first ball from the original position.

We try to play strictly by the rules. Were any rules broken? By the way, we use stroke play scored via the Stableford method.

Thanks for any insight.
Lulu from Victor, New York

Dear Lulu,

No Rules were broken. When the player hit a second ball from the tee, she was playing under stroke and distance [Rule 27-1a]. Her second tee shot is her third stroke on the hole; the original is deemed “lost” as soon as the second ball is put into play.

I hope that the information that the stakes are out-of-bounds markers for one hole but not the other is clearly stated on the scorecard. It is one thing if the player is mistaken because she did not take the time to read the Local Rules printed on the scorecard; it is quite another if the information is not readily available.

I am somewhat surprised that one of her fellow competitors did not correct her misunderstanding. Players should always help each other avoid penalties whenever possible.

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