Thursday, December 8, 2016

Ask Linda #1435-Play out of turn in match play foursomes

My wife and I were playing in a mixed foursomes knockout match recently, when we made a pretty basic error. I was teeing off on the even-numbered holes, but when we got to the 9th, I was ahead of our opponents, and I went onto the men's tee, and teed off. (It was our honour.) Our opponents arrived, and pointed out it wasn't my turn to tee off. They said that in foursomes the penalty for playing out of turn is loss of hole. However, the men's tee is 20 yards behind the ladies’ tee, so I had clearly played outside the correct teeing area. I argued that the ball was therefore not in play, and my wife should tee off from the correct tee, with no penalty. They disagreed. In the end we gave them the hole, and still won the match. Who was right?
Lou from Barton on Sea, England

Dear Lou,

Your opponents were right.

Is it really so much trouble to open a rulebook? Rule 29 is entitled “Threesomes and Foursomes.” Rule 29-2, “Match Play,” has only one sentence: “If a player plays when his partner should have played, his side loses the hole.” Sometimes the language in the rulebook is as clear as day.

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