Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Ask Linda #1160-Mistaken relief for ball embedded in hazard

Dear Linda,

Thank you for the continuous untiring effort in giving ruling advice to many avid golfers. I would like to seek your ruling opinion for the following situation.

Player's ball entered and embedded in the narrow strip of the dry land between water hazard margin and the water in the lateral water hazard. Local rules provide relief for embedded ball through the green. Due to ignorance of rule, player lifted and cleaned the ball and proceeded to drop the ball, purportedly proceeding under the embedded ball rule.

Fellow competitors advise the player that she is that not entitled to embedded ball relief for ball in the water hazard. She picked up the ball and replaced it back to the original position in the ball mark and played the ball accordingly.  

What is the ruling?

I have visited Decision 25-1b/26. Under this ruling, the player was not aware that the ball is in the water hazard and proceeded under an inapplicable rule. 

1) Does it make any difference if the player knew that the ball was in the water hazard as per mentioned by my case? 
2) As mentioned in my case, the player is aware that the ball is in the water hazard and proceeds under an inapplicable rule due to ignorance of rule. Is she penalized for touching the ground in the hazard?

Hope to hear from you soon.

Kind Regards,
Lou from Malaysia

Dear Lou,

There is no free relief for a ball embedded in a water hazard. If the Local Rule providing relief for an embedded ball through the green has been adopted, there is still no relief in a hazard – “through the green” excludes all hazards.

It doesn’t matter whether the player knew her ball was in a hazard. The point is that it was in a hazard, and she was not entitled to relief. She has two choices:

1. Replace the ball where it was embedded, one-stroke penalty. (This is not the best choice. Successfully hitting an embedded ball out of a hazard is a very difficult proposition.)

2. Proceed under any of the relief options in Rule 26-1 for a ball in a water hazard, one-stroke penalty. No additional penalty is incurred for anything else she did.

The Decision you found, 25-1b/6, was the applicable Decision for this question. Good job, Sherlock!

Copyright © 2015 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Ask Linda #1159-Player mistakenly lifts fellow competitor’s ball

Dear Linda,
Player A identifies his ball in light rough, hits it and two balls scuttle forward. A divot was taken so player A assumed the second ball was buried. Player B picked up Player A's ball and told him he was out of the hole. This was an individual Stableford competition. What should have been the correct course of action, and should Player B be penalised in any way?
Yours Sincerely,
Lou from Northampton, England

Dear Lou,

Let’s begin with Player A. His stroke at his own ball incidentally dislodged a second, hidden ball. There is no penalty to A. He has not hit a wrong ball under the Rules, because he hit his own ball [Decision 15/2].

Player B, mistakenly thinking that A had hit a wrong ball (two-stroke penalty), lifted Player A’s ball in play. Since this was a stroke play competition (Stableford is a form of stroke play), Player B incurs no penalty and the ball must be replaced [Rule 18-4]. If this had been a match play competition, Player B would incur a one-stroke penalty and, again, the ball would be replaced [Rule 18-3b].

Here’s hoping that Player A knew that he was entitled to replace the ball and continue play of the hole. If he simply accepted Player B’s misunderstanding and pocketed his ball, he would be disqualified from the hole in a Stableford format. Keep in mind, too, that if he were unsure how to proceed, he could replace the ball, play it, and let the Committee sort it out.

Copyright © 2015 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Ask Linda #1158-Fellow competitor stops ball


Sorry. I know you are flat out, but I just think you give the best answers and responses and I have looked up rules and decisions about this question.

A friend (A) was playing and hit her ball towards the green. It was hit too hard and went skimming across the green. She called out “stop,” thinking she was talking to the ball (as we are all prone to do at some stage in our game). However, a fellow competitor (B) thought she meant it literally and stopped the ball with her foot.

My friend (A) was told she got a penalty and as it was Stableford was told she had no more points left and to pick up the ball.

According to what I have read, it is either play the ball as it lies (rub of the green) if it was an accidental deflection of a moving ball, or if it was a deliberate deflection of a moving ball, the ball is dropped where it may have ended up but not in a hazard, no penalty, but the person stopping the ball deliberately is in breach of a rule and is disqualified .

My problem is the lady (B) who stopped the ball, while it was not accidental and it was deliberate, it was not done with malice or to better her own position. She just had a brain fade and thought she was being told to stop it.

What should have happened?

Lulu from Perth, Australia

Dear Lulu,

You ladies certainly know how to get yourselves into some strange predicaments!

In essence, what you are telling me is that a ball in motion was deliberately stopped by a fellow competitor who misunderstood the player’s request for the ball to stop.

The player must estimate the spot where her ball would have stopped on its own and drop it there [Rule 19-1, Note, a (i)]. There is no penalty to the player.

The fellow competitor (the player who stopped the ball) incurs a two-stroke penalty [Rule 1-2]. She would only be disqualified for a serious breach of the Rule, which this clearly was not.

I hope you had a good laugh about it.

Copyright © 2015 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Ask Linda #1157-Relief from logs piled for removal in water hazard

Is a player (me in this case) entitled to relief from debris which has been piled for removal inside a marked lateral hazard?

The situation: I hit a poor shot, which drifted towards a patch of woods. When I got to the area where we guessed the ball would be, we found that it was marked as a hazard because here in Florida it was a swampy area. We then found the ball within the hazard, luckily in a spot where the ball could ordinarily be fairly struck at and advanced. However, as part of ongoing tree removal work on the course, there was a pile of logs of varying diameter and about 3' long, stacked into a column within the hazard, and as luck would have it the logs were preventing me from taking a stance & swing. A club member who was in my group assured me that the logs were indeed 'debris piled for removal' and we happened to see the same situation in two other places on the course.

We were unsure if relief should have been in order, so I played two balls under 3-3. I made a bogey when I took 'conventional' relief, and saved par when I dropped within the hazard but away from the column of logs. Thank you.

Lou from Panama City Beach, Florida

Dear Lou,

No. A player is not entitled to free relief from debris piled for removal in a water hazard. You must play the ball as it lies or choose one of the relief options for a ball in a water hazard in Rule 26-1, all of which include a one-stroke penalty [Rule 25-1, Note 1].

Copyright © 2015 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Ask Linda #1156-Movable 150-yard markers

Linda, our 150 markers are moveable obstructions just sitting in a sleeve. I am in some trees but have a low shot out. About 10 feet in front of me is a 150 marker! I only have a small gap and a good chance of hitting this marker! Can I remove it??? It is not interfering with my stance or swing.

Many thanks,

Dear Lulu,

A player may remove a movable obstruction at any time. Naturally, that includes a removable 150-yard marker on her line of play [Rule 24-1].

There is no free relief from an immovable obstruction on the player’s line of play. A player is only entitled to free relief from an immovable obstruction if her ball lies in or on the obstruction, or the obstruction interferes with the player’s stance or swing [Rule 24-2].

Copyright © 2015 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.