Thursday, July 2, 2015

Ask Linda #1096-Use club as cane in hazard

Hi Linda,
I and several of my friends are really enjoying your blog posts and are all learning more about the Rules of Golf.

Yesterday, I was playing in an inter-club invitational at another club in a stroke play competition. On a 115 yard par 3 there is an elevated tee and a deep gorge separating the tee and the green. At the bottom of the gorge there is water. The whole gorge is marked with red stakes. My tee shot almost made it across the gorge, but rolled back into the gorge landing about 20 feet from the edge of the green, in long grass. I decided to play the ball from the hazard. When I took my shot, two balls popped up. There must have been another ball under mine, which I had not noticed. I hit my ball again from where it lay, still in the hazard.
Is there a penalty for hitting the second ball? I thought not, since it was an abandoned ball and I hit it in the process of hitting my own ball.
And, when I was walking down to access my ball, I was careful not to ground my club, but since it was very steep, could I have used my club as a cane to keep myself from falling, as long as I didn’t improve my lie in any way?

Lulu from Malagash, Nova Scotia

Dear Lulu,

There is no penalty when you hit your own ball and your stroke dislodges a ball that was hidden beneath yours [Decision 15/2].

You may use a cane or club to enter or leave a hazard provided you do not improve the lie of your ball and you do nothing to test the condition of the hazard [Decision 13-4/3.5].

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