Monday, June 20, 2016

Ask Linda #1328-Lift ball without marking it

Dear Linda,
I am a huge fan of your blog.
I recently faced a peculiar situation in match play.
My ball was lying on the cart path. My opponent walked up to me as I picked up the ball, and when I asked where to drop it, he pointed to the point of relief and a club-length and then asked me drop it there.
I played my shot from there and won the hole. Soon after my putt, he complained that I had picked up the ball without marking it first and thus lost the hole.
What is the ruling?
Lou from Jaipur, India

Dear Lou,

Rule 20-1 requires a player to mark the position of the ball before lifting it when the pertinent Rule requires the ball to be replaced. Rule 24-2b, which explains how to take relief from an immovable obstruction, does not require the player to mark the ball before he lifts it. Your opponent’s claim that you lost the hole because you did not mark the ball before lifting it is invalid.

When your opponent tells you that you lost a hole for some Rules violation with which you are unfamiliar, tell him he can file a claim and the Committee will sort it out. Your opponent is entitled to file a claim after you holed out, since the time limit for filing is prior to either player hitting from the next teeing ground. The Committee will rule that you incurred no penalty for lifting the ball without marking it and the result of the hole stands.

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