Monday, December 11, 2017

Ask Linda #1661-Order of play in woman vs. man match

Hi Linda,
I was playing a match today against a man, he teeing off before me, as he played from a longer tee. I was up four going into the fifth hole, which was a Par 3. He said since he was down in the match and that I had an advantage hitting second, I should be hitting first off the tee since it was my honor. 

I said I never heard of such a rule. I believe the player on the farther tee always hits first. 

I played first on the next hole but said I would not again.  It really slows up play, and I never heard of such a way to play a match. 

Q. Is there such a rule? What’s the proper playing order?

Lulu from Boca Raton, Florida

Dear Lulu,

In match play, the player who wins the hole has the honor at the next tee. This means that if you win the hole, you will tee off first on the next hole. This is explained in Rule 10-1.

There is no penalty if the wrong player tees off first. However, the opponent has the right to recall the shot if the player has played out of order.

In a casual match, you might allow your male opponent to tee off first to save time, but in a serious match, order of play should be maintained. Your opponent is well within his rights to tell you to tee off first if you have the honor; you do not have the right to insist that he tee off ahead of you if the honor is not his.

Copyright © 2017 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Ask Linda #1660-Bottle in bunker

Good afternoon Linda,
If a glass bottle is so close to my ball that I could actually hit the bottle, and the ball is in a hazard, am I allowed to remove the bottle, providing I do not move the ball?
Kind regards
Lou from Greenvale, Victoria, Australia

Dear Lou,

The answer to this question lies in understanding the difference between a loose impediment and an obstruction.

Loose impediments are natural objects, such as leaves, twigs, branches, dung, insects, worms, and the like. When your ball lies in a hazard, you are not permitted to touch or move a loose impediment lying in or touching the hazard [Rule 13-4c].

Obstructions are artificial objects. “Artificial” means “man-made.” Fences, stakes, bottles, food wrappers, paper cups, rakes, etc., are all obstructions. The player is always entitled to free relief from movable obstructions, even when his ball lies in a hazard; the player is entitled to free relief from immovable obstructions everywhere except when his ball lies in a water hazard.

If the obstruction is movable, you may remove it. If removal of the object causes the ball to move, the ball must be replaced [Rule 24-1a]. If the ball lies on the movable obstruction, you may lift the ball and remove the obstruction, after which you must drop the ball. On a putting green you would place the ball [Rule 24-1b].

The answer to your question, as you can now see, is “yes.” You may remove the bottle from the hazard. And if your ball were touching the bottle, and the ball moved when you lifted the bottle, you would simply replace the ball – no penalty.

Copyright © 2017 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Ask Linda #1659-Leaf on ball

Hi Linda,
When I arrived at my ball there was a leaf lying on top of it. I wanted to remove it by waving. My opponent objected because it was “adhering to the ball” and I couldn't take any action that would remove the leaf. So now we wonder when is a loose impediment adhering to the ball and what can we do within the rules? I know I can wave to move an ant from my ball. Why not a leaf?
Lou from Belgium

Dear Lou,

I believe your opponent may not understand what is meant by “adhering.” In golf, if something “adheres” to the ball, it sticks to it. For example, when your ball lands in a muddy area, some of the mud might stick to the ball. If you are not playing preferred lies, you will have to hit the ball with the mud stuck to it. Dung is another material that often adheres to the ball.

Unless the leaf is muddy, there is little chance it is adhering to your ball. If you wish, you may carefully lift it off the ball. You may also try to wave it off, if you prefer. Either way, if you move the ball in the process of removing the leaf, you will incur a one-stroke penalty and you will have to replace the ball [Rule 18-2].

Copyright © 2017 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Ask Linda #1658-Move obstruction that might assist opponent

Hi Linda, 
My opponent was in a bunker and about to play a shot onto the green when I noticed a large garden hose lying on the edge of the green. 

The hose was also close to a large unplayable rough area. As it was a difficult bunker shot and easy to run his ball over the green and into the rough area, I said that the hose should be moved or at least lifted if his ball was going to hit it. My opponent firmly disagreed and said the hose had to remain.

Naturally he came out of the bunker, hit the hose and his ball stopped on the green. If it didn't hit the hose his ball would have been unplayable.

Was my request to move the hose unreasonable or was his refusal correct?
Lou from Melbourne, Australia

Dear Lou,

Your opponent’s refusal was correct. A player is entitled to the conditions that existed when his ball came to rest. If there is a movable obstruction in your opponent’s way, he has the option to move it or leave it in place. That decision is his and his alone.

If you move the hose, you do not incur a penalty; your opponent is entitled to replace it. If you indicate you are going to move it, your opponent may ask you to leave it there. If you then proceed to move it, you will lose the hole in match play [Decision 2/3], and you will be disqualified in stroke play [Rule 3-4]. Please read Decision 23-1/10.

Copyright © 2017 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Ask Linda #1657-Second shot from bunker lands in area raked after first shot

Hi Linda
I would appreciate your opinion on the following:
A player in a large bunker plays her ball well forward but fails to get out of the bunker. She rakes her footprints to save time (doing nothing to improve her stance or lie for the next shot) and goes forward in the bunker to play her second shot. This time the ball ricochets back into the area she previously raked. I would say no penalty – correct?
Lulu from Australia 

Dear Lulu,

Your understanding is correct. A player is permitted to rake the bunker when her ball lies in the bunker, provided the reason for doing so is to care for the course and the raking does not improve her lie, the area of her intended stance or swing, or her line of play [Rule 13-4, Exception 2].

When the player in your question raked the bunker, her intentions were honorable (and her actions were legal). She could not anticipate that her next stroke would ricochet back into the area she had raked. She does not incur a penalty.

Copyright © 2017 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Ask Linda #1656-Rolling the ball

Ask Linda #1656-Rolling the ball        

Our course had a rough summer so we are playing lift clean and place in our own fairway. All was OK until some of the "snow birds" returned to Florida. We were marking our balls, lifting to clean and then placing the ball. Some of the girls from other courses insisted that it was permissible to "roll the ball." I feel, first of all, the ball before being moved should be marked. Also, the ball should not be moved by the club. We voted and the majority voted not to roll. However, I cannot find anything to back this up. Some insisted that there is no rule that states you cannot roll the ball with your club. Is there anything stating the correct procedure of Lift, Clean, and Place? This is our league day not a casual round of golf.
Lulu from Sarasota, Florida

Dear Lulu,

Would that we could all decide our own golf rules by majority vote…

Look at Appendix I, Part A (Local Rules) in the back of your rulebook. Read #3b, “Preferred Lies” and “Winter Rules.” You will learn that the ball must be marked before the player lifts it. The last paragraph of this Local Rule will tell you that if the player fails to mark the ball before lifting it, or moves the ball by rolling it with a club, she incurs a one-stroke penalty.

Your league committee may allow the players to vote on whether to adopt the Local Rule for “preferred lies” (lift, clean, and place), but the procedure for lift, clean, and place is not open to discussion.

Copyright © 2017 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.