Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Ask Linda #1188-Hit wrong ball in bunker

Last Saturday in the Stableford competition we were waved through. I hit my drive into the bunker. It was very wet. The ball was coated with sand. I hit it; it stayed in the bunker, but the sand came off, revealing a ball from the group that had let us through. I then found my ball and played it, securing a 4 on a Par 3 for 2 points. What is the ruling?
Lou from Basingstoke, England, UK

Dear Lou,

You hit a wrong ball. Stableford is a form of stroke play, so the penalty is two strokes. Your score for the hole was 6.

You are responsible for identifying your ball before you hit it. If you cannot identify it because, for example, it is covered by sand, you must announce your intention to lift the ball, ask another player to observe your procedure, mark and lift the ball, clean it only as much as necessary to identify it, and replace it [Rule 12-2].

You should be especially wary of hitting a wrong ball when you are invited to play through, since there will be more than the usual number of balls in play lying around.

The Rules provide a penalty-free opportunity to identify your ball anywhere on the course. There is no good excuse not to make certain the ball you are about to hit is yours.

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