Friday, June 30, 2017

Ask Linda #1564-Who may replace ball?

Hi Linda,
Would greatly appreciate your answer on the following:

Players A, B & C are on the green; player D is in the greenside bunker; player D hits his ball out of the bunker to within 2 feet of the hole; player D then proceeds to rake the bunker.
In order to speed up play, player D asks player A to mark his (player D’s) ball whilst he is raking the bunker.
Player A marks player D`s ball.

Who is now allowed to replace player D’s ball?

-          Can/must it be player A?
-          Can/must it be player D?
-          Can it be player B or C??

Much appreciated,
Lou from South Africa

Dear Lou,

The ball may be replaced by the player, his partner, or the player who marked and lifted it [Rule 20-3a]. Accordingly, Player D (the owner of the ball) may replace it, or Player A (who was asked to mark and lift it) may replace it. If Player B or C is D’s partner, he may replace the ball; otherwise he may not.

Copyright © 2017 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Ask Linda #1563-Lift another player’s ball on green without permission

While putting, a friend of mine has a nasty habit of marking my ball and knocking it off the green if it is within his field of vision without asking me to mark it. My ball is not near his line of putt so I would not consider it necessary to mark. However I do understand Rule 22-2 and decision 22/1. Under rule 18-3.b I can assess a one-stroke penalty but under 18-4 there is nothing I can do. How can I handle this situation?
Lou from Stuart, Florida

Dear Lou,

You might want to start by asking (or telling) your friend not to touch your ball on the green. If he is truly a friend, he should oblige.

In match play, your opponent would incur a one-stroke penalty under Rule 18-3b.

There is no penalty in stroke play [Rule 18-4]; there is no recourse under the Rules. However, you have not authorized this player to lift your ball; he has no business lifting it without your permission. 

Copyright © 2017 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Ask Linda #1562-Reference point for relief from water hazard

I have a question about red stakes around a pond. The fairway is a dogleg left and at the turn in the fairway there is a pond. When you hit a ball into the pond, do you hit your next shot from where you entered the hazard, or if the ball lands near the far side of the pond take your shot from the spot nearest where the ball landed and just not closer to the hole? We always play our next shot where we entered the hazard, not where the ball has landed. Is this correct? Some have done it the other way, which I consider wrong.
Lulu from Nova Scotia, Canada

Dear Lulu,

You are correct.

When you take relief from a lateral water hazard, the reference point for flagline relief or two-club-length relief is always the point where the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard. Where the ball actually lands in the hazard is irrelevant. Please read Rule 26-1b and c.

Copyright © 2017 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Ask Linda #1561-Opponent refuses to lift ball that interferes

I played a match today and both my opponent and I ended up just off the green. His ball was on my line to the hole and which I wanted to putt. I asked him to mark his ball and he refused, the result being I had to chip over his ball.
Was he correct in refusing my request?
Lou from Bridgend, Wales, GB  

Dear Lou,

Absolutely not.

Rule 22-2 requires a player to lift a ball if he is requested to do so because it interferes with another player's shot. You should have filed a claim. Your opponent would have lost the hole for failing to honor your legitimate request [Decision 2/3].

Please remember to carry a rulebook so that you can settle simple matters like this on the spot.

Copyright © 2017 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Ask Linda #1560-Monkeying around with Local Rules

Hi Linda,
I am asking you a lot of questions of late. This is because I have moved to a new Golf Club and they seem to use some "unusual rules," to put it kindly.

My club has just introduced a local rule that "Plugged balls through the green may be lifted and dropped, but not cleaned.” 
My understanding is that the specimen local rule from Appendix I is: "Through the green, a ball that is embedded may be lifted, cleaned and dropped, without penalty, as near as possible to the spot where it lay but not nearer the hole. The ball when dropped must first strike a part of the course through the green."
Is my club allowed to modify the Local Rule to prevent cleaning of the ball? I don't understand why anyone would want to prevent cleaning of the ball. The local gossip is that it is to prevent cheating, as golfers may claim their ball is plugged just to clean it.
My answer is: "If golfers want to cheat they will always find a way," and we can't cater to cheats.

Looking forward to your opinion.

Best Wishes,
Lou from Yorkshire, England

Dear Lou,

The Local Rule providing relief for embedded balls through the green permits cleaning the ball [Appendix I, Part A, #3a]. The club does not have the option to amend this Local Rule.

Rule 25-2, the Rule that explains relief for embedded balls in closely mown areas through the green, also allows the player to clean the ball. A club “rule” that prohibits players from cleaning an embedded ball when taking relief violates a player’s rights under the Rules.

Making up rules that contravene the Rules of Golf to prevent cheating is a useless and counter-productive measure. How much better would it be to teach the golfers the basic Rules, and to encourage an atmosphere that does not tolerate cheating? Golf relies on the honesty and integrity of the individual golfers. The game is a sham if players are cheating.

Copyright © 2017 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.