Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Ask Linda #1673-Ball hits moving mower

I have not been able to find the answer in the Rules of Golf, and have gotten two different answers from club pros.
Today, I hit one of my best tee shots, when out of the woods a maintenance mower plowed onto the fairway, and my shot hit the mower and bounced about forty yards right. One pro stated I had to play it where it landed. A second said I could hit another tee shot, no penalty. And the know-it-all maintenance guy said I could move it back to where it hit the mower. Help, please. What is the correct ruling, please?
Lulu from Port Orange, Florida

Dear Lulu,

The pro that told you to play the ball where it landed gave you the correct answer.

A maintenance mower is an “outside agency.” When a ball in motion is accidentally deflected or stopped by an outside agency, it is a “rub of the green.” There is no penalty and the ball must be played as it lies [Rule 19-1].

I wouldn’t recommend asking a maintenance worker for a ruling. I would suggest that when two pros give you different answers, you ask them to show you the Rule. Better yet, become familiar with the rulebook and try to find the answer yourself!

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