Monday, June 29, 2015

Ask Linda #1093-Clean ball lifted from casual water

Dear Linda,

When playing the other day, my opponent’s ball landed in casual water in a bunker. She was able to take relief from the water in accordance with the rules. She lifted the ball and cleaned it before taking the prescribed drop. Was she permitted to clean the ball under these circumstances?

Lulu from Essex, England

Dear Lulu,

Yes. The ball may be cleaned when you are taking relief from casual water, which is an “abnormal ground condition” [Rule 25-1b].

When the Rules allow you to lift a ball, there are only three instances when you may not clean it:

1. To determine if it is unfit for play (visibly cut, cracked, or out of shape).
2. To identify the ball. In this case you may clean off only what is necessary to see if the ball is yours.
3. When someone asks you to lift a ball that interferes with her play, or when you lift your ball because it will assist someone’s play.

Please read Rule 21, Cleaning Ball. You may be pleasantly surprised at how clear and how short it is!

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