Thursday, August 11, 2016

Ask Linda #1359-Shot from fairway strikes ball on green

Dear Linda,
Thank you for your wonderful blog. I enjoy reading your explanations.
Now I have a clarification to ask, if you please.
On Sunday, while playing a Stableford friendly round, at a Golf Club in Chennai, India, I took a shot from 160 yards with my 6 iron and hit the ball of my fellow competitor which was at rest on the green.
After an animated discussion we all agreed that a two-stroke penalty was to be applied to my score for that hole. (Rule 19-5)
It is my opinion though that this rule is a harsh punishment after a brilliant stroke (rarely I hit the green in regulation).
Were we correct in applying the penalty? If so, what is your opinion on the fairness of this rule?
Lou from Thailand

Dear Lou,

There is no penalty if a ball that is not on the putting green strikes and moves a ball at rest on the green. The player whose ball was in motion must play his ball as it lies [Rule 19-5a]; the player whose ball was moved must replace his ball [Rule 18-5].

If both balls are on the putting green, there is no penalty in match play if one ball strikes and moves another. In stroke play, the player who putts his ball and strikes and moves another ball on the green incurs a two-stroke penalty [Rule 19-5a].

Please go back to the rulebook and re-read Rule 19-5. You should notice that there is no mention of any penalty unless the format is stroke play and both balls lay on the putting green prior to the stroke.

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