Friday, December 30, 2016

Ask Linda #1449-Distraction affects shot

Dear Linda,
Thank you for all your wonderful info on rules – you clarify the rules so well.

Today, in our last club day for the season, I was making a shot from just off the green. As I was in the process of making contact, the other three competitors in my group (none was my partner), all suddenly shouted and raced across the green, hence upsetting my actual contact of the ball.

A strong gust of wind had happened and a golf bag (not mine) had tipped over and the umbrella had come loose and was tumbling over the green, with the others chasing it. It was too late to stop my shot but my shot was definitely affected by the goings on of the others. 

Is there a Decision that covers that? Can I have the shot again without penalty? 

I did invoke Rule 3-3, but as it was Stableford, both balls ended up a wipe on the hole so we never got an answer to what may have been the correct play. 
Lulu from Perth, Australia

Dear Lulu,

There are no mulligans when you are playing under the Rules of Golf. Players do not have the option to replay without penalty when they have been distracted [Decision 1-4/1]. I think you will understand the reason for this ruling if you imagine the havoc that would ensue if a player were able to claim a redo any time someone sneezed or jostled clubs in the middle of her backswing.

The distraction you describe was unfortunate, but you are stuck with the result. At least you have a good story to tell!

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