Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Ask Linda #1471-Ball crosses hazard and rolls back in

In friendly competition today, my friend hit her ball over the water hazard with a yellow line. It hit a tree over there and rolled along a line on the green side of the line and eventually rolled back into the water hazard.
Must she hit again from the teeing side of the hazard, or can she drop on the green side of the hazard?
Thank you for all your help,
Lulu from Dallas, Texas

Dear Lulu,

I answered this question back in June of 2008. It is an important concept, and it won’t hurt to revisit the answer. The ruling is still the same:

“If you hit a ball over a water hazard that is marked entirely with yellow stakes and the ball lands past the hazard boundary on the other side and then rolls back into the hazard, you must drop that ball BEHIND the hazard. Perhaps the best way to remember this is to ask yourself: Where is the ball? In this case, it is in the water hazard. The relief options for a ball in a water hazard require that you hit the ball across the hazard. Your point of reference for taking relief is where the ball LAST crossed the margin of the hazard; that reference point is on the green side of the hazard. Note where your ball rolled back into the hazard; draw an imaginary line from the hole, through that point, across the hazard and back as far as you wish; drop anywhere on that line, behind the hazard.”

Of course, you may also play the ball under stroke and distance, or play it as it lies in the hazard.

Copyright © 2017 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Ask Linda #1470-Ball near bird’s nest in hazard

Hi Linda,
Is free relief available in a hazard when the ball is next to a ground nesting bird’s nest and hitting the ball would smash the nest and the eggs? If so, how should relief be taken?
Also, are there different rules for the different types of hazard regarding this situation?
Lou from Ballina,  New South Wales, Australia

Dear Lou,

Yes, you are entitled to free relief in any hazard (water hazard or bunker) for a swing that would damage a bird’s nest [Decision 1-4/9].

For free relief, you must drop in the hazard within one club-length of the nearest point of relief, no closer to the hole. If it is not possible to drop in the hazard, you may still get free relief if you are able to drop in a nearby, similar hazard that is no closer to the hole.

If there is no safe place to drop in the hazard, and there is no nearby similar hazard, you will have to take a penalty stroke. In that case, you may drop behind the hazard on the flagline or choose any of the other relief options under Rule 26 (if your ball is in a water hazard) or Rule 28 (if your ball is in a bunker).  

Copyright © 2017 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Ask Linda #1469-Penalty for double hit

Thank you for your awesome answers. My question for you is if you accidentally double hit your ball is it 2 or 3 shots? I was under the belief it was 2, but was penalized for 3 in a competition: one for my hit, one for the double hit, and one for hitting a ball in motion.
Kind regards
Lulu from New Zealand

Dear Lulu,

Someone is getting overzealous with penalties!

Your understanding is correct. When a player hits the ball more than once with one swing, count the stroke and add one penalty stroke [Rule 14-4]. There is no additional penalty for hitting a ball in motion.

Note that the Rule does not say “double hit.” It says “more than once.” If you happen to contact the ball several times with one swing, your score will be the same as a double hit – one stroke for the swing and one penalty stroke for the violation.

Copyright © 2017 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Ask Linda #1468-Broken branch still attached to tree

In a partner match play competition, A hits her ball into a large tree branch that was broken but still attached to the tree. It was my belief that she would have to proceed under Rule 28 (Ball Unplayable). As there was no referee, A called the Pro Shop who gave her incorrect information and told her she gets a free drop no closer to the hole. As it turns out, A and B lost the hole.

It is my understanding of the Rules we could have advised A and B that we were going to submit a claim prior to going to the next tee if the result of the hole would have been different. Then what happens? If they had won the hole, would it be reversed?

A Pro did come out on the course a couple of holes later advising the ruling they gave us was incorrect.

Lulu from Palm Desert, California

Dear Lulu,

Let’s address the broken branch issue first. If a branch is still attached to a tree, it is not a loose impediment. The player may not move it. If she cannot hit her ball, she may deem it unplayable and proceed under one of the relief options in Rule 28, all of which include a one-stroke penalty. Moving the branch would be a breach of Rule 13-2, since the player’s lie and the area of her intended swing would be improved. Moving the ball and playing it from a new location would be a breach of Rule 18-2. Either violation would result in the player (Player A) being disqualified from the hole in match play. Her partner's score (Player B) would count for the hole.

If the match is supervised by a referee (which yours was not), and the referee mistakenly authorizes the player to take free relief, the player is absolved of any penalty. In this case, if the player’s opponent (you) disagrees with the ruling, she may not request that the Committee review the matter unless the referee consents [Decisions 34-2/2 and 34-2/4].

No referee accompanied your match. You are certainly within your rights to file a claim before anyone tees off on the next hole if you disagree with the (incorrect) answer from the pro shop. The Committee would review and uphold your claim.

Copyright © 2017 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.