Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Ask Linda #1443-Practice on course prior to tournament
Recently our club held a stroke play competition over two days. The first day was only 9 holes and the second day's round was 18 holes. On the morning of the first day some members started to play the FRONT nine until they were told they must not as it breaks Rule 7-1b (practice on the competition course).
They stopped playing, but were told that as the stroke play competition in the afternoon was only nine holes, and was to be on the BACK nine, they would not be disqualified as they had only played the front nine, and could play in the afternoon competition.
My questions are:
A. Is the Definition of the "Course" that must not be practiced on under Rule 7-1b the whole course, back and front nines as it would be for an 18-hole stroke play tournament? If the competition is only going to be on one of the nines, is the other nine, which is not to be used in the competition, not the "Course" and is practice allowed there?
B. Should our members have been DQ’d and not allowed to play any of the rounds of the tournament?
I appreciate your help.
Lou from Dublin, California
Rule 7-1b prohibits players from practicing on the competition course before a round of a stroke-play competition. Both the front and back nines are part of the competition course, even though all holes will not be used the first day. The members who practiced on the front nine should have been disqualified from the tournament.
In this unusual situation, where players may be confused because the front nine is not included in the first day’s competition, the Committee might want to include in the Conditions of the Competition that players are not permitted to practice on the front nine prior to playing the back nine. This “ounce of prevention” would help players avoid a disqualification – always a worthy goal. Alternately, the Committee might want to include in the Conditions of the Competition that players are permitted to practice on the front nine prior to the competition on the back nine. This option is made available to Committees in the Note at the end of Rule 7-1.
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