Thursday, February 9, 2017

Ask Linda #1477-Opponent repairs pitch mark on player’s line

This happened!!!
Last Sunday my ball and an opponent’s ball came to rest close by to each other. On my line of putt but on the fringe grass was a deep pitch mark. I informed my opponent I was not allowed to repair it.  He insisted he wanted to repair it and I told him not to. He again insisted and he did repair it!!!
He is an awfully nice chap, but was he in breach of rule 1-2?
Lou from Bodicote (near London)

Dear Lou,

Your opponent must comply with your request to not repair the pitch mark. If he repairs it over your objections he loses the hole [Decision 2/3] for refusal to comply with a Rule. A player is never permitted to improve (or allow another player to improve) his line of play off the green by eliminating an irregularity of surface [Rule 13-2].

There is no penalty to you, since you did everything within your power (short of a physical altercation) to prevent the repair. I am puzzled as to why your opponent would go ahead with the repair over your objection – good manners alone would demand compliance with your request.

If the pitch mark had been on the green, your opponent would still lose the hole. A player does not have the right to repair a ball mark affecting his opponent’s play when his opponent requests that he not repair it [Decision 16-1c/2].

Sometimes your best efforts to save your opponent from a loss-of-hole penalty go for naught. At least you tried…

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