Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Ask Linda #1412-Hat moves ball on green
As a player bends down to proceed to mark his ball on the green his hat falls off and moves the ball. What is the ruling? Is it DECISION 20-1/14 (no penalty) or DECISION 20-1/15 (one-stroke penalty)? In the latter case it would be argued that the hat blowing off is NOT directly attributable to the specific act of marking the ball. Clarification please.
Lou from Australia
It would be hard to argue that the movement of the ball caused by a falling hat was directly attributable to the specific act of marking the ball. That act involves placing a ball marker behind the ball and lifting it. If the ball is accidentally moved by the player’s hand as he marks and lifts the ball, or replaces it and lifts the marker, there is no penalty. Otherwise, there is a one-stroke penalty and the moved ball (or ball marker) must be replaced [Rule 20-1; Decision 20-1/15]. A hat falling on the ball and moving it (or any other object, including the ball marker if it falls out of the player’s hand as he bends down to mark the ball) will result in a one-stroke penalty.
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