Thursday, December 15, 2016

Ask Linda #1439-Open gate in OB fence to hit ball

Hi Linda,
My question concerns the fencing on the edge of one of our holes.

Up the left hand side of the hole there is housing. Clearly, over the fence is out of bounds. A player recently played his ball toward the left. The ball was clearly inside the boundary but quite close to the fence; he had no stance.

As luck would have it, the property had a double car gate beside where the ball finished. The player opened the gate, had a comfortable swing and played out the hole.

This did actually happen. Did he break any rules? What would the penalty be (it was a stroke-play round)?

Any feedback appreciated.
Lou from Cessnock (NSW) Australia

Dear Lou,

A gate in an out-of-bounds fence that is closed is part of the boundary. The player may not open it [Decision 27/18]. The penalty is two strokes in stroke play, loss of hole in match play.

If the gate happens to be open, the player may leave it open or close it. He may not move it to any other position.

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