Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Ask Linda #1297-Accidentally move ball with putter

Dear Linda
While playing in our club today a fellow competitor accidentally hit and moved her ball forward while placing her putter behind it. I told her it was a one-stroke penalty and if she did not move it back she would incur an extra 2-stroke penalty for hitting from the wrong place. I also told her I believe she could declare it a stroke and just putt from the new spot counting only her actual strokes. Her choice.
Please advise.
Lulu from Hemet, California

Dear Lulu,

The player incurs a one-stroke penalty for moving her ball in play. She must replace it [Rule 18-2]. If she fails to replace it, the total penalty is two strokes, not three [see the penalty statement at the end of Rule 18].

The player may not declare the accidental movement of the ball a “stroke.” A stroke requires intention to move the ball– accidents are not intentional [Definition of “Stroke”].

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