Friday, August 31, 2018

Ask Linda #1793-Ball crosses lateral hazard and lands out of bounds

Hi Linda,
Thanks for all of your hard work and education. I hope your most recent trip went well! 
My boss and I have differing opinions on how to handle lateral hazards that run alongside an out-of-bounds area. One of your readers drew a diagram in the Monday, February 1, 2016 Ask Linda #1245-Ball flies over water hazard and lands in lateral hazard question/answer. 
Referencing that same diagram, if my tee shot were to cross the red area (lateral hazard) but come to rest in the blue area (out of bounds), do I proceed by: 
1) getting relief from the water hazard since my ball crossed the water hazard before exiting the course, or 
2) penalized under the out-of-bounds rules because my ball comes to rest in a spot that is not on the golf course.
Best Regards,
Lou from Los Angeles, California

Dear Lou,

Ask yourself: Where is the ball? The ball in your scenario lies out of bounds. The question is never how the ball got there; the question is always where it lies. You must proceed under stroke and distance any time you hit your ball off the golf course [Rule 27-1].

Copyright © 2018 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Ask Linda #1792-Hole putt while flagstick in hole

Linda… Earlier this week I was playing a round of golf with a friend. I was on the green about 40 feet from the cup and he was having trouble in some deep grass. We were holding up the group behind us so I decided to putt at an unattended flagstick, knowing the odds of my hitting the pin were slim.  As luck would have it I hit a great putt that was tracking right at the hole. It appeared the ball stopped just on the lip of the cup but then as I was walking toward the hole it fell in. The bottom line is I holed a putt to an unattended flagstick, but I honestly do not think the ball actually hit the pin. Is this still a penalty?
Lou from Texas

Dear Lou,

I’m afraid so, Lou. The penalty is two strokes in stroke play, loss of hole in match play. A ball is not holed until it is at rest in the hole [Definition of “Holed”]. It is not possible for a ball to come to rest in the hole without touching the flagstick [Decision 17-3/1].

Copyright © 2018 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Ask Linda #1791-NPR when GUR intervenes on line of putt

            Dear Linda,

            Can you please clarify the difference between “Relief “ and “Complete Relief” from GUR?

            I give you a specific situation. 

            There is one green on our course that is being refurbished after the rainy season with additional sand/mud, etc. It is rectangular in shape: 45 feet long (North–South) and 35 feet wide (East–West). The hole is in the middle, 20 feet from the South line.

            The GUR line is marked up to 15 feet from the South line. The ball is lying 1 foot from the South line, so 19 feet from the hole. The nearest point of relief (NPR) outside the GUR is quite close to the South line. So if one plays towards the hole from the NPR with a Putter, the GUR is intervening on this line. 

            My Question: Can one take complete relief by measuring the distance of 19 feet between the ball and hole towards North, thus remaining on the green for the next shot? 

            Lou from Pune, India

            Dear Lou,


            When a player’s ball lies on the putting green, and an abnormal ground condition (such as ground under repair, casual water, etc.) interferes with the player’s stance or area of intended swing, or intervenes on his line of putt, the player is entitled to free relief [Rule 25-1a]. He must place his ball at the nearest point of relief that is not in a hazard and not nearer the hole. If complete relief is not possible, he may place it at a spot that affords the maximum available relief. (For example, if the hole were surrounded by casual water, the player could place his ball at a spot where the water on his line of putt would be the most shallow.) The nearest point of relief –or maximum available relief– may turn out to be off the putting green. The player is not entitled to place his ball on the putting green unless the nearest point of relief is a spot on the putting green [Rule 25-1b (iii)].

            The spot you want to use –19 feet on the opposite side of the hole– is 38 feet from the spot where your ball lies. That spot is not the nearest point of relief, and you may not place your ball there. Your NPR will be on an arc to the west or east (depending on the exact location of your ball), off the green.

            Please read Decision 25-1b/10.5. I believe you will find the accompanying diagrams very helpful.

            Copyright © 2018 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Ask Linda #1790-Penalty for relief from Environmentally-Sensitive Area (ESA)

Hi Linda,
Is there, or is there not, a penalty for a drop after a shot landing in an ESA?  Please clarify.
Lulu from New Jersey

Dear Lulu,

The answer depends on how the Committee has defined the area:

  If it is defined as ground under repair, the player incurs no penalty when she takes relief.
• If it is defined as a water hazard, the player incurs one penalty stroke when she takes relief.
• If it is defined as out of bounds, the player incurs one penalty stroke and must hit her next shot from where she hit her previous shot (stroke and distance).

In all cases, if the ball lies in an area labeled environmentally sensitive, the player must take relief. Please read about Environmentally-Sensitive Areas in Appendix I, Part A, Local Rules, #2c.

Copyright © 2018 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Ask Linda #1789-Draw on ball after starting play

Hi Linda,
While playing golf in Phoenix, Arizona the other day I confronted a player that started play on the first hole. He hit his ball onto the green and after marking his ball, he took out a marker and drew a line on his ball before putting out! Can you please comment on this issue?

I believe that a player cannot alter his equipment (the ball) after starting a hole. What, if any, is the penalty for the player marking his ball before finishing the hole?

Lou from Avondale, Arizona

Dear Lou,

Drawing a line on a golf ball does not change its playing characteristics. There is no Rule against writing on the ball at any time during the round.

Don’t confuse this with altering the playing characteristics of a club. This is expressly prohibited once the round has begun [Rule 4-2a].

Copyright © 2018 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.