Friday, June 16, 2017

Ask Linda #1554-Ball moves after replaced

Dear readers,
Please revisit Ask Linda #1552 ( I edited the answer, thanks to an observant reader from the UK.

Dear Linda,
I enjoy your blog. I have two related questions. I was playing a knockout and on the green. My opponent was over the green on a steep rise. I went to mark my ball and when I turned round, his ball was six feet from the hole. I questioned him and he said as it was winter rules he could lift and clean the ball and when he replaced it, it ran down onto the green. When we got back I checked with the pro and he confirmed that what happened was within the rules. The second part happened yesterday when one of my playing partners was on the top level of a two-tiered green. He marked the ball and when he replaced it, it ran down the rise to close to the hole. Can he leave where it stopped and if not how does it vary from the previous incident?
Thank you,
Lou from Christchurch, UK

Dear Lou,

The answer is the same for both questions, and depends on when the ball moved. When a player places a ball, and it fails to come to rest (meaning the ball starts rolling as soon as the player removes his hand), he must try to place it a second time. If the ball does not stay put after that second attempt, he must place it at the nearest spot that is no closer to the hole and not in a hazard. If the ball originally lay in a hazard, it must be placed in the hazard [Rule 20-3d].

If the ball comes to rest after it is placed (meaning the player removes his hand and the ball is absolutely still), and it subsequently moves, the player must play the ball from its new position [Rule 20-3d].

Considering that in the one case the player’s ball lay on a steep rise, and in the other it lay on a two-tiered green, it seems likely that the ball, when placed, began to roll immediately. If this assumption were correct, the player in each situation you describe would be governed by the ruling in my first paragraph.

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