Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Ask Linda #1508-Player’s ball lodges in another player’s bag

Linda, I have an unusual one for you today. In a recent round of golf one of our foursome decided to walk rather than ride in a cart. He was using a stand-up type bag. On the 3rd hole a member of our group hit a bad shot that nearly hit the guy that was walking. In fact, it did hit his bag and came to rest lodged against the golf bag strap and the bag itself. The ball was above the ground, probably just below knee level.

We are a very friendly group, so of course we gave the guy a free drop. However, I am curious as to what the official ruling would be. As soon as the walker picked up his bag the ball became "unperched" and was again playable. However, had he not picked up his bag the ball would have remained basically unplayable. What would the official ruling be in this case?

Lou from Texas

Dear Lou,

In both match play and stroke play, the player may retrieve his ball, move the bag, and drop the ball on the spot directly under where it lay trapped in the bag.

In match play, the player would have the choice of proceeding as above or canceling and repeating his shot [Rule 19-3].

In stroke play, the player has no choice. He must play the ball as it lies after the drop. This is known as a “rub of the green” [Rule 19-4].

There is no penalty for any of this activity. Your “friendly” decision turned out to be correct. Good job!

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