Thursday, April 6, 2017

Ask Linda #1504-Tap moving ball into hole

Hi Linda,
A 19th hole discussion came up with this question and I think it's one for you to help us with!

Some greens are SO fast here it often is impossible to stop the ball near the hole (assuming it's missing the hole). In fact, sometimes an uphill putt that comes within inches of the hole will come back to you and you have to start over again!

The question in this situation is, how about at the point when the ball changes direction and is about to return to you, you tap the ball into the hole, hitting a moving ball and taking the penalty? Is that acceptable?

Thanks as always.
Lou from Spain 

Dear Lou,

Not a good idea, Lou. A player who taps a moving ball into the hole has breached Rule 1-2. He will incur a two-stroke penalty in stroke play (or lose the hole in match play) for deliberately moving his ball in play, and will be disqualified if the Committee decides he has committed a serious breach.

I would suggest that you take the matter up with the greenkeeper. The USGA cautions against locating holes in tricky positions or on sharp slopes. It recommends that an area two to three feet in radius around the hole be as level as possible. A player who makes a good putt should be able to stop the ball near the hole [How to Conduct a Competition, Section 7: Course Setup, #3 Hole Locations]. If the greenkeeper takes greater care in selecting the hole locations, you and your friends will have a much more enjoyable round of golf.

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