Friday, January 5, 2018

Ask Linda #1671-Tee shot hit five feet and lifted by fellow competitor

Today, during our monthly men's stroke play tournament, a player I was with on the tee swings at his ball and it fell off the tee just before he hit it. He hit the tee and the tee hit the ball and moved it about five feet, still in the tee area.

Another competitor immediately picked up his ball and handed it to him, thinking he could do it over without a penalty. I said he must drop the ball where it was picked up and hit it off the ground, hitting 2. I also said the guy that picked up the ball should add 1 stroke to his score for moving a competitor’s ball.

Am I right?
Lou from Davenport, Florida

Dear Lou,

Not exactly.

In stroke play, there is no penalty if a fellow competitor lifts or moves another player’s ball [Rule 18-4]. Either the fellow competitor who lifted the ball, the player, or the player’s partner must replace it [Rule 20-3a]. Since the original spot is known, the ball will be placed on the spot from which it was lifted.

In match play, the player who lifts or moves his opponent’s ball (other than during search) incurs a one-stroke penalty.

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