Friday, October 27, 2017

Ask Linda #1633-Ball stuck in OB fence

A player hits her tee shot into an out-of-bounds fence. The ball is stuck in the chain link fence about half way up. The ball is still halfway in bounds.

Is the ball out of bounds or can she take an unplayable, add a penalty stroke, and hit from there?

The ball on the boundary line is still in play, we believe.

Lulu from Longview, Washington

Dear Lulu,

A ball is out of bounds when all of it lies out of bounds [Definition of “Out of Bounds”]. The out-of-bounds line is determined by the inside points at ground level of the fence posts. If the fence posts are on the course side of the fence, the ball may be out of bounds. It would depend on the diameter/width of the posts.

If the posts are on the out-of-bounds side of the fence, a ball that is stuck partly in the fence is not out of bounds. The player may attempt to hit it out of the fence (probably not the best idea, but may be possible – see Decision 14-1a/5). The wiser choice might be to declare the ball unplayable, add one penalty stroke to her score, and either drop within two club-lengths (no closer to the hole) or play again from the teeing ground. If she returns to the tee, she may re-tee the ball. 

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