Monday, January 4, 2016

Ask Linda #1225-Ball marked on green moved by wind

Dear Linda,
A player has marked and lifted her ball on the green. After she replaces the ball, she steps back to look over her putt. Before she returns to lift the mark, the wind blows the ball. Should she replace the ball in front of her mark (which hasn’t moved), or should she play it from its new position? And what does she do under the same circumstances if the wind blows her ball into the hole?
Lulu from New York

Dear Lulu,

A ball is in play even though the player’s marker may still be sitting behind the ball. So if she has marked the ball and not yet lifted it; or marked the ball, lifted it, replaced it, and left her marker behind the ball, the ball is in play [Definition of “Ball in Play”].

Wind is not an outside agency [Definition of “Outside Agency”]. If a ball at rest and in play is moved by wind, the player must play the ball from its new location [Decision 18-1/12]. If that new location is in the hole, it’s her lucky day – the ball is holed [Decision 20-3d/1]. So if the player hits her tee shot onto the green of a Par-3, and the wind subsequently blows her ball into the hole, she has scored a hole-in-one!

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