Monday, June 1, 2015

Ask Linda #1073-Repair ball mark off green

Linda…here is the scenario: Golfer "A" and golfer "B" both hit a ball just short of the green on a par 3. Golfer "A's" ball leaves a ball mark right in front of Golfer "B’s” ball but this ball mark in no way affects Golfer "A's" own 2nd shot. Question: Can golfer "A" repair his ball mark out of courtesy to golfer "B" before golfer "B" hits his 2nd shot?
Lou from Texas

Dear Lou,

I’m assuming that Golfer B’s ball was at rest when Golfer A hit the ball that left a ball mark in front of B’s ball. If that is the case, Golfer B may repair the ball mark, even though it is not on the green. A player is always entitled to the lie and line of play he had when his ball came to rest. This is an important principle of golf, and stems from the “equity” Rule [1-4].

However, if Golfer A hit first, Golfer B would not be permitted to repair A’s ball mark, since it was there before his ball arrived.

Here’s another example where this Rule would come into play:
Ordinarily, a player may not brush sand out of his line when he is not on the putting green. However, if another player hits a ball out of a bunker and deposits sand around the player’s ball, he is entitled to brush that sand out of his way [Decision 13-2/8.5].

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