Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Ask Linda #1079-How to count penalty strokes
In a recent round with some friends, we had a disagreement on scoring this scenario: A player tees off & lands in the lake shy of the green. He tees up another ball, hits & lands on the green. This same player now states that he will add a one-stroke penalty, so he will be hitting #3 when we get to the green? The rest of us felt like “wait a minute,” your first hit went into the water. Now you ADD a penalty stroke, meaning your score is already 2. Then you tee up another ball, and hit what is now #3, so when you get to the green you will be hitting stroke #4. Can you please help us settle this matter based on your knowledge of the rules? Thank you in advance for your help, and have a great day!
Lou from Louisville, Kentucky
Your understanding is correct. The player’s putt will be his fourth shot on the hole.
The first stroke from the tee is shot #1. When a player chooses to take relief from a water hazard (regardless of which relief option he chooses), he must add a one-stroke penalty to his score. Shot #2 is the penalty stroke for playing another ball under stroke and distance [Rule 26-1a]. His second stroke from the tee is shot #3. When he putts the ball that reached the green, he will be hitting shot #4 on the hole.
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