Friday, September 21, 2018

Ask Linda #1807-Post score with five-club max

Hi Linda,
I have a question for you. We have a skills challenge each week in our league. This week we played 5 clubs in the bag. We followed all the Rules. Is that a round that can be posted?
Lulu from Aston, Pennsylvania

Dear Lulu,

No. The USGA Handicap System does not permit players to post scores when the maximum number of clubs allowed in the competition is less than 14 [Section 5-1e (iii)].

Copyright © 2018 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Ask Linda #1806-Hit provisional twice, then find original

If I hit a provisional ball, and I hit it a second time, and then I find my original ball, which is the ball I continue to play?
Lulu from Massapequa, New York

Dear Lulu,

You may hit your provisional ball as many times as necessary to reach the area where your original ball is likely to lie. Once you reach that area, you may begin searching for your original ball. If you find the original, you must discontinue play with the provisional and finish the hole with the original. If you hit the provisional from the area where your original is likely to lie, or from a spot closer to the hole than that area, your original is lost under the Rules and you must finish the hole with the provisional.

Copyright © 2018 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Ask Linda #1805-Rake footprints in bunker

During a recent round both my fellow competitor and myself were in a sand trap and were pretty close together. We both walked into the bunker and I hit first. My playing partner then hit, and as luck would have it he did not get out of the trap and his ball rolled back into one of our footprints. This got me wondering what the Rule is regarding raking a bunker when two players are in the same bunker. Can the player that hits first rake the entire bunker, including both his and the other guy’s footprints after he hits but before the 2nd player hits, or is there some Rule that dictates what can and what cannot be raked in this case? In retrospect, I can see where the best solution would be to not walk into the bunker together, but I am still curious as to whether or not this situation is covered by some specific Rule. 
Lou from Texas

Dear Lou,

Your “in retrospect” solution is the best advice, Lou. If your fellow competitor had waited outside the bunker while you hit, you could have raked all of your footprints after you hit your ball out. A player is always permitted to smooth sand in a hazard once his ball is out of the hazard [Rule 13-4, Exception 2].

When your fellow competitor entered the bunker after you exited, he would have been permitted to rake your footprints before hitting his ball (had you not already done so), as a player is entitled to the lie, line of play, and stance that he had when his ball came to rest in the bunker [see Decisions 13-2/8, /8.5, and /8.7].

Since the two of you entered the bunker together, there are more restrictions on what you may rake. Either player could rake the first player’s footprints (if they could distinguish which footprints were made by the first player), but neither could rake the second player’s footprints near that player’s ball. While the second player is entitled to the lie, line of play, and stance that he had when his ball came to rest in the bunker (which entitles him to rake the first player’s footprints), a player who worsens his own lie or area of stance is not entitled to restore it [Rule 13-2; Decision 13-2/29].

Copyright © 2018 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Ask Linda #1804-Refuse to lift ball that interferes with play

Question---I am on the 18th green tied with my opponent for the lead and the win for the club championship, a very big deal. I am in a good position right directly in front of the hole. My opponent's ball with whom I am tied is behind mine. My opponent asks me to lift my ball and mark it. I say no. Of course, I want the opponent to hit my ball and get a 2-stroke penalty. My question is, is there a rule that requires me to lift and mark? Do I have the right to say no? I am aware that golf is a game of etiquette, but a win is a win and as I understand the rule I am not required to mark but my opponent must ask. What must I do?
Lulu from New Jersey

Dear Lulu,

Where did you find a Rule that says you are not required to mark and lift your ball when another player makes that request? Rule 22-2 states: "If a player considers that another ball might interfere with his play, he may have it lifted." If you refuse to lift your ball, you will be the player who is penalized. 

Copyright © 2018 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Lulu’s response:
Hi. I know that rule, it says MAY, not must.

And my answer:
Yes, the other player "may" ask. But if she does ask, you must lift your ball. You are not permitted to deny her request. She is entitled to have that ball lifted if she feels it interferes with her play. The penalty if you fail to comply with her request is loss of hole in match play, and disqualification in stroke play. Please read this Decision (match play):


Refusal to Comply with Rule in Match Play
Q.In a match, A requests B to lift B's ball that is on A's line of play. B refuses to do so. What is the ruling?
A.In equity (Rule 1-4), B loses the hole for failing to comply with A's request to lift his ball under Rule 22-2.

and this Rule (stroke play):

3-4. Refusal to Comply with a Rule 

If a competitor refuses to comply with a Rule affecting the rights of another competitorhe is disqualified.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Ask Linda #1803a-Putting out after concession

Dear readers,

Judging from your responses to Ask Linda #1803-Hole out after 
putt conceded, there is apparently a bit of confusion regarding concessions in match play and continuing play after a concession. Here are a few things you should know:

• A concession may not be withdrawn. If you concede your opponent’s next stroke, you may not change your mind [Rule 2-4].

• A concession may not be declined. If your opponent concedes your next stroke, you may not refuse to accept that concession [Rule 2-4].

• Once the result of a hole is decided (which was the situation in #1803), a player may try to hole out a putt that was conceded. Regardless of whether that ball is holed, there is no effect on the result of that hole. Such a putt would be considered a practice putt; anyone may practice putting on the green of the hole last played [Rule 7-2].

• In partners play, if the result of the hole has not been decided, a player whose putt has been conceded before his partner plays should pick up his ball and wait until the hole is over if he wants to try that putt. Technically, the player is permitted to hole out after the concession, but if there were any possibility that his putt might assist his partner (line of putt, speed of green, break, etc.), the partner would be disqualified from the hole. If you want to be safe, always wait until the hole is over before trying to make a putt that was conceded [Decision 2-4/6].

There are 22 Decisions regarding concessions (2-4/1 through 2-4/22). You may access them via the USGA and R&A websites. Details regarding when you may concede are outlined in Rule 2-4.