Monday, November 20, 2017

Ask Linda #1649-Ball hits attended flagstick

Hi Linda,
We had an instance where a fellow competitor was close to the flagstick, within touching distance, and another player was putting. Not paying attention to the putter, the fellow competitor inadvertently let the ball hit the flagstick after it was putted from the green. The putter assumed the flagstick was attended, as her fellow competitor was standing right next to the flagstick.

Who is assessed the penalty strokes in this instance? My understanding was that the person standing closest to the flagstick is responsible for attending, thus preventing the ball from hitting the flagstick.

Thanks for your response.
Lulu from Burbank, California

Dear Lulu,

The player whose ball hits the attended flagstick (i.e., the player who hits the putt) incurs the penalty, which is two strokes in stroke play, loss of hole in match play. In stroke play, the ball must be played as it lies after hitting the flagstick.

Please read Rules 17-1 and 17-3.

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