Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Ask Linda #1616-Player’s shot hits shared cart

Dear Linda,

Thank you for your continued explanations.

I was recently playing match play and my opponent and I were sharing a buggy. I was in a greenside bunker and my opponent had parked the buggy by the green. I played my ball out of the bunker and it hit the buggy and came to rest by the green. I was aware that there is a penalty for hitting your own equipment; I was sharing the buggy, and assumed that in match play it was “loss of hole.” So I conceded the hole to my opponent.

Having read Rule 19-3 it would appear that there is no penalty and I could cancel the stroke and play the ball again from the bunker or where it lay.

This does not seem correct to me. Am I misreading the rule?

Lou from France

Dear Lou,

If you read the Definition of “Equipment,” you will learn that a shared cart is considered the equipment of the player whose ball is involved when the cart is stationary. Thus, the Rule that applies to your situation is 19-2 – your ball was deflected by your equipment. The penalty is one stroke (not loss of hole, as you believed), and you must play the ball as it lies. However, in your described situation, while a one-stroke penalty should have applied, that became irrelevant as soon as you conceded the hole, as a concession may not be withdrawn [Rule 2-4].

If your opponent had been moving the cart when it was struck by your shot out of the bunker, Rule 19-3 would apply in match play. You would not incur a penalty, and would be permitted to choose between playing the ball as it lies or replaying your shot [Decision 19/1].

In stroke play, the penalty for hitting your own equipment is the same as in match play – one-stroke penalty and play the ball as it lies. Also, as in match play, there is no penalty for hitting your fellow competitor’s equipment. The difference is that in stroke play, hitting a fellow competitor’s equipment is called a “rub of the green,” and you must play the ball as it lies. You do not have the match-play option to replay the shot [Rule 19-4].

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