Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Ask Linda #1403-Player touches boundary stake in backswing
Can you please clear up a couple of problems concerning boundary stakes and penalties?
1) On a backswing a boundary stake is touched and moved slightly but not dislodged.
2) On a backswing a boundary stake is dislodged and the stroke is discontinued.
3) On a backswing a boundary stake is dislodged but the stroke is continued.
Lou from Bodicote, England, UK
Rule 13-2 states that a player must not improve the area of his intended swing by moving, bending, or breaking anything fixed. However, it goes on to say that the player incurs no penalty if the action occurs when he makes the stroke or in the backswing if he completes the stroke.
Based on this information, here are the answers to your questions:
(1) If the player touches the boundary stake on his backswing, moves the stake slightly, and completes his swing, there is no penalty. (If he discontinues his swing, he cannot avoid the two-stroke/loss-of-hole penalty if he improves the area of his intended swing.)
(2) If the boundary stake is dislodged and the stroke is discontinued, the player incurs a two-stroke/loss-of-hole penalty for improving the area of his intended swing.
(3) If the boundary stake is dislodged on the backswing but the player completes the stroke, there is no penalty.
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