Friday, July 3, 2015

Ask Linda #1097-Assist partner

I recently played in a Better Ball (2 women, score taken from the best of the two, net and gross). There were several questions about what the partners can and cannot do in that format.
- Can they stand behind their partner when they are driving (tee shot) or any other shot?
- Can they stand behind each other on a putt?
- Can they tell each other which club they used? or the distance they played to?
- Can they help each other read putts?
- Discuss where to hit, targets, etc.?
Lulu from Vernal, Utah

Dear Lulu,

Partners are permitted to give advice to one another. They may:
• discuss what club to use and state what club they used;
• read putts for each other;
• point out targets;
• point out flaws in their swing.

However, they may not stand behind the ball (to the right of a right-handed player) when the player is hitting her ball. This applies to drives, putts, and all manner of strokes in between. No one on a player’s “team” (partner, caddie, or partner’s caddie) is permitted to stand behind the player on an extension of the line of play (or putt) behind the ball while the player is making a stroke [Rule 14-2b].*

If you need help watching your shot, your partner should be able to follow the flight of your ball from the side. If you allow her to stand behind you while you hit, it will cost you two strokes (loss of hole in match play).

Copyright © 2015 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

* When you play in a tournament that is not governed by the Rules of Golf, such as a scramble, you may stand behind your partner unless the tournament rules state otherwise.