Monday, January 9, 2017

Ask Linda #1455-Order of play from different tees

While playing my last round of golf at my club, one of my golf buddies stated a rule that I believe is incorrect. I play at a club where we have many senior men and women players, so it is not uncommon to be teeing from different tees. In my group, three players hit from the white tees and one player hits from the Senior tees. On a par 5, player A hits a bad drive and is behind the senior tees. Player B and C tee off and hit in the fairway. Player D, who hits from the senior tees, was told to tee off prior to player A hitting his next shot, even though player A is behind player D. I have always interpreted rule 10 as the player who is away always goes first. My partner is interpreting rule 10-2 (b), which states in part: "After the competitors have started play of the hole, the ball farthest from the hole is played first.” Meaning all players in the group shall tee off to signify the start of the hole. Same scenario would be true when playing with the ladies who generally play from the red tees. Who should hit first? 
Lou from Benton, Kentucky

Dear Lou,

All players should hit their tee shots before any player hits his second shot [Rules 10-1b and 10-2b]. Once everyone has teed off, the ball farthest from the hole is played first.

This Rule is more significant in match play, where your opponent may recall your shot if you play out of turn. The player will want to see his opponent’s tee shot before he decides how to play his second shot, so order of play should not be ignored.

In stroke play, there is no penalty for playing out of order (unless there is agreement to do so to give one player an advantage). It would save time to hit that short drive a second time before the player on the forward tee plays (especially if you are walking), and I am in favor of doing anything permissible to save time.  

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