Friday, March 31, 2017

Ask Linda #1503-Ball set aside on green, not replaced before hit

Hi Linda,
Heard an interesting question today:
A player played on to the green from the rough. To speed up play someone on the green marked his ball and tossed it a couple meters away.
The player did not know it was marked and the marker forgot and he finished hole from incorrect place. It was not remembered until next hole. 
What is the penalty and to whom??
Lou from Melbourne, Australia

Dear Lou,

Once the ball is lifted, it is no longer in play [Definition of “Ball in Play”]. When a player hits a ball that is not in play, he has played a wrong ball.

Ordinarily, a player is penalized for hitting a wrong ball (loss of hole in match play; two strokes in stroke play and he would have to replace his ball on the correct spot and complete the hole). However, in this situation the player was unaware his ball had been marked and moved, so the ruling is different.

Since the player did not know what had happened, he does not incur a penalty for hitting a wrong ball. If the mistake is discovered before he tees off on the next hole, he must return to the green, place the ball on the correct spot (his best estimation), and complete the hole. If the mistake is discovered after he tees off on the next hole, the result stands. Either way, there is no penalty to anyone [Decision 15-3b/3].

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