Monday, October 17, 2016

Ask Linda #1402-Player lifts ball near immovable obstruction without marking

Dear Linda,
In a recent match play tournament at our club, player A's ball was right beside a sprinkler head. Player A informed Player B that he was going to take relief from the immovable obstruction. Player B agreed, upon which Player A lifted the ball without marking it and proceeded in getting NPR. Player B called the referee and claimed that Player A should be penalized for not marking it.

Player B claimed that the NPR can’t be measured without knowing where the ball originally lay since it wasn’t marked. Also, it's a required practice, having seen pros in the PGA tour do it.

What's the proper ruling in this situation?

Lou from the Philippines

Dear Lou,

While the Definition of “Nearest Point of Relief” provides a recommended procedure for determining that point, there is no requirement in the Rules that the player follow this procedure. As long as the player drops the ball in an area that would be within one club-length of the nearest point of relief, and the ball does not roll into a position that would require a re-drop [see Rule 20-2c], the drop is good and there is no penalty [Decision 24-2b/2]. There is no requirement that the ball be marked before it is lifted, since the ball is not going to be replaced in the same spot.

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