Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Ask Linda #1689-Inform opponent of penalty

Dear Linda, 
Question:  when playing in a Match Play event, don't you have to inform your opponent of a penalty you incurred, doing it right away as their strategy may be changed?  I know you should do it "as soon as practical" but that could be several minutes later.  

Sound too nit-picky?  (Maybe I do take this stuff too much to heart.)  
Lulu from Leawood, Kansas

Dear Lulu,

“As soon as practicable” could take several minutes, and might, on occasion, not happen before the opponent plays her next stroke. Consider a player deep in the woods who accidentally moves her ball while removing a loose impediment. She replaces the ball and punches out. Her ball comes out of the woods and settles closer to the hole than her opponent’s ball, so her opponent immediately takes her shot. The player is not required to come racing out of the woods screaming, “Don’t hit! I need to tell you I incurred a penalty!” She should notify her opponent that she incurred a penalty as soon as practicable, which in this example would be when she exits the woods and her opponent is within hearing distance. Please read Decision 9-2/1.

Copyright © 2018 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Ask Linda #1688-Ball buried in sand

Hi Linda,
Recently I was playing at Barnbougle Dunes in Tasmania. I hit my ball into the face of a bunker from about 160m out. Luckily I saw exactly where it pitched because when I got to the bunker the ball was nowhere to be seen. There was however an unusual mark in the sand in the exact position where I thought my ball had pitched. In order to identify my ball I literally had to dig it out of the sand as it was buried about 2 inches under the surface.

Whilst I know I am entitled to identify my ball, do I have to cover it in sand again and return it back to the same condition I found it, or can I simply place it back into the hole that I dug out in the process of identifying the ball?

Thanks so much for your fantastic blog.
Lou from Melbourne, Australia 

Dear Lou,

You are permitted to touch and remove the sand in order to find and identify your ball. There is no penalty if you move the ball during this search. After you identify it, you must re-create the lie as best you can, replace the ball, and re-cover it with sand. You are entitled to leave a small part of the ball visible [Rule 12-1a].

Copyright © 2018 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Ask Linda #1687-Order of play when one ball off green

Hi Linda,
Many thanks for running a very informative blog for the golfers.
I have following question:
Player A hits second shot which lands on the green about 20 feet away from the hole. Player B hits his second shot which lands about eight feet away from the hole but on the fairway. 
Who has the priority to hit his 3rd shot, player A, who would use a putter, or player B, who has a choice to chip or putt but is not on the green?
Thanks and with best wishes for you,
Lou from Lahore, Pakistan

Dear Lou,

The ball farthest from the hole is played first [Rules 10-1b and 10-2b]. In your narrative, the player whose ball lies on the green 20 feet from the hole will play before the player whose ball lies on the fairway 8 feet from the hole.

In match play, there is no penalty if a player plays out of order. However, his opponent has the option to recall the player’s shot [Rule 10-1c].

In stroke play, there is no penalty if a player plays out of order. However, if the competitors deliberately play out of order to give one of them an advantage, the penalty is disqualification [Rule 10-2c].

Copyright © 2018 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Response from a reader from Australia regarding pace of play:

It is also worth noting that the USGA and the R&A have been encouraging golfers to enhance the golfing experience by speeding up play where sensible and feasible, supporting Ready Golf while playing stroke play.  In your narrative, a practical expression of this could be for the person off the green but closest to the pin to play first if, for example, the person on the green but further away is still making his way towards his ball.  That is, it may not be appropriate to doggedly apply Rule 10-2 if it will slow play for a competition field.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Ask Linda #1686-Incomplete relief from cart path

Dear Linda,
The player’s ball lay on grass near the boundary fence but his stance was on a path when playing in his preferred direction –his feet were on the cart path, not his ball. The boundary fence did not interfere with the player's swing. After taking relief from the path for his stance he still played with his feet on the path. If he decides to take relief, isn't he required to take complete relief? How can it be right that he plays with his feet on the path?
Lou from Kitwe, Zambia

Dear Lou,

Indeed, it cannot be right and it is not right. Relief must be complete.

In seeking the nearest point of relief from an immovable obstruction, such as a cart path, the player must find the point where there is no interference from the condition [Definition of “Nearest Point of Relief”]. After he drops the ball within one club-length of that point, he must re-drop if the ball comes to rest in a position where he still has interference from the condition from which he was seeking relief [Rule 20-2c (v)].

If the player in your narrative hits the ball with his feet on the cart path, he incurs a two-stroke penalty in stroke play (loss of hole in match play).

Copyright © 2018 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Ask Linda #1685-Drop inside water hazard

Hi Linda,
Just a clarification. If a player hits a ball into a water hazard and the ball is suckered [embedded], we know the normal provisions of point of entry, reload from original, and line of sight. A player asked recently if he could take a penalty drop INSIDE the hazard. He felt he could improve better from where he was than from either original place or point of entry.
I felt that he couldn't. Your clarification appreciated as always.
Lou from Auckland, NZ

Dear Lou,

Players are only entitled to relief from embedded balls in closely-mown areas [Rule 25-2]. If the Local Rule for embedded balls has been adopted, that relief extends to through the green, which does not include hazards [Appendix I, Part A, #3a].

The player may not declare this ball unplayable. Relief for an unplayable ball is available anywhere on the golf course except in a water hazard [Rule 28].

If the player chooses not to play the ball as it lies in the hazard, his only relief options are those listed in Rule 26-1.

Copyright © 2018 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.