Thursday, January 11, 2018

Ask Linda #1675-Wind moves ball; putt strikes flagstick

Hi Linda,
Question 1: Player is on green, marks his ball, picks up his marker and the wind then moves the ball about 3 feet. What is the ruling?  
Question 2: Player on green asks to have flagstick removed. Partner places flagstick on ground about 4 feet out of the line. Player then putts and hits flagstick on ground. Ruling?
Lou from New Jersey

Dear Lou,

Wind is not an outside agency. A ball that has come to rest and is subsequently moved by the wind must be played from its new position [Rule 18-1]. If the ball is mistakenly replaced and hit from its original position, the player incurs a two-stroke penalty (loss of hole in match play). Fun fact: If the wind blows the ball into the hole, the ball is ruled to be holed with the previous stroke. 

The penalty for the ball striking the flagstick on the ground is two strokes (loss of hole in match play). This penalty is incurred by the player who putted the ball, not the player who laid the flagstick on the green [Rule 17-3]. The player incurs this same penalty if his ball strikes (1) a flagstick that is attended, removed, or held up at his request; (2) the person attending the flagstick; or (3) an unattended flagstick in the hole when the stroke was made on the putting green.

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