Friday, October 14, 2016
Ask Linda #1401-Lift ball close to hole (take a “gimme”)
Question: During friendly play my group tends to allow short gimme putts. The other day in a tournament a player missed his putt by a couple of inches and took a gimme. We told him to replace the ball and finish the hole. The debate then started as to what the penalty should be, one or two shots. Can you help us?
Lou from Trinidad, in the Caribbean
The penalty for moving your ball in play is one stroke. The ball must be replaced. If it is not replaced, the penalty increases to two strokes [Rule 18-2]. The player in your question incurred a one-stroke penalty. If he had not replaced the ball and holed out, he would have been disqualified [Rule 3-2].
This is a problem for many players who casually break the Rules in “friendly” play. If you always play by the Rules, you won’t form any bad habits that most assuredly will get you into trouble when you compete in a tournament.
If all of you would carry a rulebook in your golf bag, you could spend less time “debating” and more time enjoying your golf. Rule 18 is not a hard Rule to find or understand.
Copyright © 2016 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.