Thursday, March 15, 2018

Ask Linda #1720-Penalty for moving opponent’s ball during search

Dear readers,
Please revisit Ask Linda #1719-Replaced ball rolls into hole. I have corrected the answer to reflect that the player scored an eagle.

Hi Linda,
I was in the heavy rough looking for an opponent’s ball. I accidentally ran it over and it plugged. My tire track flattened out the rough making it easier to see so he found it and unplugged it, giving him a better lie than he had originally. He should have thanked me and instead I was assessed a penalty. Is this correct? If so, this is a rule that should be removed from the books. I no longer look for anyone's ball. If everyone did that golf might become 6 hours.
Thanks for your time.
Yours in golf,
Lou from Manchester, New Jersey

Dear Lou,

Whoever assessed you a penalty for moving your opponent’s ball during search was mistaken. There is no penalty in either form of play –match play or stroke play– for moving an opponent’s or a fellow competitor’s ball during search [Rules 18-3a and 18-4].

Please continue to help players search for a ball, and bookmark Rules 18-3 and -4 in your rulebook to squelch any suggestion of a penalty.

Copyright © 2018 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.