Friday, March 25, 2016

Ask Linda #1275-Play without marker; Practice shot on hole that is out of play

Dear Linda,
2 questions for you that have come up in recent golf:

1. We recently played a society competition where it rained heavily and a number of players gave up and returned to the clubhouse mid-round. In one group 3 of the 4 players cried off leaving poor Bob to play out the round on his own as none of the groups ahead noticed this, so bad was the weather. What is the rule in relation to his score and whether it can count in the competition without a marker? I’ve searched and cannot find a rule covering it, although I know there must be one.

2. Our society also played a course recently where 2 holes were declared out of play due to weather damage making them unsafe around the green area. One of these holes is a par 3 and the signature hole for the course so, naughtily, 3 players teed off on the hole while they were passing the tee box to see could they hit the green. Thankfully they didn’t try to retrieve their balls. The committee disqualified them from the competition on the basis they were practicing on the course, but afterwards the question came up that if the holes are out of play, then are they part of the course? Does this matter either way as practicing is only allowed in the 3 areas outlined, i.e., last green, practice green and at or around next tee box?

I look forward to your reply. Thank as ever for a very informative blog.
Lou from Ireland

Dear Lou,

1. A player does not have an acceptable score if he is not accompanied by a marker [Decision 6-6a/2]. His score will not count in the competition.

2. Players are not permitted a make a practice stroke between the play of two holes [Rule 7-2]. The fact that the practice stroke was technically off the course is irrelevant. However, the penalty in stroke play is two strokes. The players should not have been disqualified.

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