Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Ask Linda #1708-Marker sticks to putter/Tee off in wrong direction

Hi Linda,
I’ve enjoyed your rules blog for a long time now and seek you considered answers to the following.

1. I think that there is no penalty if a player accidentally moves his ball or marker, on the putting green, while making the mark, even, I believe, if the marker sticks to his putter when pressing it down. Hope I’m right so far. But what if he is then asked to move his marker from an opponent’s putting line and then the marker sticks to his putter. I think he’s OK as both actions were when marking the position of the ball.

2. A group arrived on the 3rd Tee. Not having played here before and without much thought, they proceeded to play from the 3rd Tee but in the wrong direction. They played towards the 6th green, which they could see in the opposite direction to the 3rd. The following group informed them of their error. They had played from the teeing ground of the intended next hole, so does the shot count and should they play their next from where it then lay? Or allowed to say “whoops!” retrieve their shots and start again? It was only a friendly played under Stroke Play rules.

I look forward to hearing from you.
Lou from the UK

Dear Lou,

Please read this column for the answer to your first question:
http://lindamillergolf.blogspot.com/2010/12/ask-linda-266-ball-marker-sticks-to.html The situation is also addressed in Decision 20-1/6. The bottom line is that there is no penalty, since the movement of the marker is directly attributable to the act of marking the ball.

Regarding your second question, if you are playing under the Rules of Golf, the shot you hit in the wrong direction counts. You must play that ball where it lies (assuming you teed your ball precisely within the tee markers*), or play another from the tee under penalty of stroke and distance. I don’t believe the term “whoops” appears in the rulebook in any context.

Copyright © 2018 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

*A referee from Australia wrote to explain an additional complication:


I think there is an additional complication to question 2.

If the players from the 3rd tee have approached the tee markers and presumed (incorrectly) that they need to hit toward the 6th, the opposite direction from the 3rd, then they will have hit from outside the correct teeing ground (the two-club-length deep correct area will be on the opposite side of the tee markers).

Consequently, they incur two penalty strokes and must correct (Rule 11-4). If they fail to correct, it is DQ in stroke play, although in this case it seems to be social golf anyway.