Monday, October 31, 2016

Ask Linda #1411-Player prefers provisional and does not ID possible original

Hi Linda,
Recently whilst playing a par 3 a fellow player pushed his tee shot to the right into a wooded area of trees and no one saw the ball land. The player stated he would take a provisional, which he promptly put 2 inches from the pin.

Upon approaching the green, a fellow competitor spotted a ball in the right-hand bushes and shouted: “Hey, I think that’s your ball.” The player who played the provisional stated: “I don’t want it identified and I’m happy with my provisional.”

My question is: Is the player who played the provisional ball compelled to identify the ball that another person thinks may be the original ball played from the tee, or can he refuse to identify it and carry on with the provisional?

Lou from Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Dear Lou,

The player must inspect the ball that was found. If it is his original ball, he must abandon the provisional and continue play with the original [Decision 27-2c/2].

If the ball that was found is indeed the player’s ball, and the player continues play with the provisional, he has played a wrong ball and will incur a loss of hole/two-stroke penalty under Rule 15-3. In stroke play, if he does not correct his mistake before teeing off on the next hole, he is disqualified.

Copyright © 2016 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Ask Linda #1410-Player kicks opponent’s ball in motion

While a golfer was hitting onto the green, her opponent was unaware of the ball coming towards the green and while she was turning around, inadvertently kicked her opponent's ball while it was moving as it approached the green.

I believe that since the deflection was accidental, the ball wasn't at rest, and it wasn't her partner, there is no penalty to either player and the ball should be played as it lies. Had the ball been at rest, the ball would just be replaced at that spot.

One player wanted to replace the ball "where it likely would have rolled," but I don't believe there is latitude in the Rules of Golf for "likely rolling.”

Also, would the player who hit the ball towards the green have the option of replaying the shot without penalty?  

Please advise.
Lulu from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Dear Lulu,

In match play, when a player’s ball in motion is accidentally deflected by an opponent, there is no penalty. The player has two choices [Rule 19-3]:
(1) cancel the stroke and replay the shot;
(2) play the ball as it lies.

In stroke play, an accidental deflection by a fellow competitor is a “rub of the green.” There is no penalty and the ball must be played as it lies [Rule 19-1].

Copyright © 2016 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Ask Linda #1408a-Follow-up questions to #1408-Ball touches empty can in hazard 10.27.16

Dear readers,

There seems to be some confusion regarding your right to remove a can from a hazard. Here are some of the questions and comments I received in response to Ask Linda #1408:

Even if it's in a hazard? (from Lulu in Abington, Massachusetts)

I think you should clarify that the can in the hazard is man-made and not natural. (from Lulu in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida)

Would Movable Obstructions there include twigs, dead branches, grass mounds, etc.?  as they do outside hazards? If so, it changes my whole idea of how to treat hazards. Am I confusing loose impediments with movable obstructions?  And, is a can in a hazard one or the other? (from Lou in Surprise, Arizona)

Here’s the scoop:
• Obstructions are man-made objects. I have yet to see a “natural” can, so you can safely assume that a can is an artificial object (man-made) and qualifies as an “obstruction” under the Rules of Golf [Definition of “Obstructions”].
• Obstructions are “movable” if you can move them easily without causing damage or delaying play. Cans, water bottles, food wrappers, cups, and rakes are examples of movable obstructions.
• Loose impediments are natural objects (e.g., stones, leaves, twigs, branches, worms, insects, dung). You may not touch or move a loose impediment that lies in or touches a water hazard or a bunker [Rule 13-4c].

• Players are permitted to pick up movable obstructions anywhere on the golf course. This includes all water hazards and bunkers. If the ball does not lie on or in the obstruction, and the ball moves as a direct result of picking up the obstruction, the ball must be replaced. If the ball lies on or in the obstruction (e.g., on a rake or in a cup), the player may lift the ball and remove the obstruction, after which he must drop the ball as close as possible to where it lay, not nearer the hole [Rule 24-1].

Please take out a moment to review the Definitions of “Obstructions” and “Loose Impediments,” and spend some time studying Rule 24-1.

Copyright © 2016 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Ask Linda #1409-How many penalties for multiple violations

We had a situation the other day that we have been discussing.

The ball for one of the guys in our group was located about 2 feet from the hole. As he approached his unmarked ball, he stumbled and hit his golf ball with his putter. His putter then hit the ball a second time, while it was moving, and then, to add aggravation to injury, the ball came back and bounced into his shoe.

Should he be assessed penalties for each of these violations?

Thanks in advance for your response.
Lou from Cincinnati, Ohio

Dear Lou,

One penalty will suffice. When one act results in one Rule being breached more than once, the player incurs a single penalty [Decision 1-4/12]. In this case, the player incurs a one-stroke penalty for causing his ball to move, and he must replace it [Rule 18-2 (i)].

Copyright © 2016 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Ask Linda #1408-Ball touches empty can in hazard

Hi Linda, 
If a ball comes to rest against an empty can in a hazard, what is the ruling please? I believe you have got to play it as it lies or take a penalty drop???
Lou from Wales, UK

Dear Lou,

A player is entitled to free relief from movable obstructions.

An empty can is a movable obstruction. Since your ball is not in or on the can, you may remove the can. There is no penalty. If the ball moves, you must replace it [Rule 24-1a].

If the ball had rolled into the can, you would lift the can, remove the ball, and drop the ball as near as possible to the spot directly under where the ball lay in the can, no closer to the hole [Rule 24-1b]. Again, no penalty.  

Copyright © 2016 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.