Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Ask Linda #1829-Player creates divot to serve as a tee

Hi Linda - Lou here again in South Wales - hope all is well!

Watching the final day of the Ryder Cup opening shot in first pairing - Justin Thomas took his iron and smacked it into the ground on the teeing area creating a large sort of divot.

He then appeared to tee the ball up and hit a decent opening shot, etc.

My immediate reaction was he had affected something growing (e.g. his lie), or that he had a target on his line of site (the divot).

No commentators said anything, so it must be legal - so what was actually going on here? 

On the web I found this.........................but he created a divot, not a mound?

Do I have to use a tee peg?
You do not have to use a tee peg (on short par 3s, for example) and are permitted to create a small mound or tuft using the back of your club and place your ball on top of that to give yourself the perfect lie.

Kind regards,
Lou from Wales

Dear Lou,

The player is permitted to create a natural tee by banging a club into the ground to raise a mound of grass or dirt [Rule 11-1]. If you ever have the opportunity to watch Laura Davies play, you will see her use a club to raise the turf on the teeing ground to create a “natural” tee. This is perfectly legal.

Copyright © 2018 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Ask Linda #1828-Hitting sand in bunker after missing shot in foursomes

Hello Linda,
I am hoping you can an answer a rules query from a recent alternate shot match-play event.

       Player A & B are partners playing in an alternate shot match.
       Player A tees off, Player B hits the approach shot into a greenside bunker.
       Player A plays a sand shot, and fails to extricate the ball from the bunker.
       Player A, in frustration, takes multiple swings (3 or 4) in the bunker, touching the sand multiple times.
       Player B then plays a shot safely onto the green. 
       Player A does not disturb or change the lie of the ball in the bunker.

Considering the "side" is still in the bunker, has Player A breached Rule 13-4 even though it is Player B's turn to play?

With Kind Regards,
Lou from Blauvelt, New York

Dear Lou,

Yes. In foursomes, the word “player” includes both the player and his partner. Team A-B would incur a loss-of-hole penalty (two-stroke penalty in stroke play) for a violation of Rule 13-4 [Decision 29/5].

Copyright © 2018 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Ask Linda #1827-Players practice on course before round

Hello once again Linda.
Can you please advise as to ruling on an incident that happened at our local golf club?
Last Saturday, the club held a shotgun start, 2-person Ambrose event. A pair were to start on the 15th hole. However, when they arrived at the 14th hole, they were seen practicing. They eventually were announced the winners, consequently presented with the trophy/prizes. The committee was not notified of the incident till a day later. Has the committee now the right to disqualify the pair for a breach of rules, and return the trophy/prizes, and award the runners up as the winners?
Eagerly awaiting the ruling, thank you in advance.
Kind regards
Lou from Greenvale, Victoria, Australia

Dear Lou,

The penalty for practicing prior to the start of the round on the day of a stroke-play competition is disqualification [Rule 7-1b]. However, the Committee was not informed of the violation until after the competition was closed. In stroke play, a penalty must not generally be imposed after the competition has closed [Rule 34-1b].

There are exceptions to this Rule, one of them being that if the players knew, before the competition was closed, that they were in breach of this Rule, they should be disqualified.

The Committee must interview the players. If they knew that they were not permitted to practice prior to the start of the shotgun, they should be disqualified and should surrender their trophy and prizes. If they were unaware of the prohibition against practice, they should not be disqualified and are entitled to their winnings.

Copyright © 2018 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Ask Linda #1826-Look into player’s bag to learn what club he used

Hi Linda,
Excuse me my bad English. 
Did you see in Ryder Cup Sunday match Tiger see in the bag of Rahm he used an 8 iron, and tell to his caddie?  Is this legal? 
Lulu from Caracas, Venezuela

Dear Lulu,

I did not witness this, but I can tell you that it is perfectly legal to peer into another player’s bag to try to ascertain what club he used. Any information that you get through observation is permissible, and is not considered advice [Decision 8-1/10].

However, you may not try to learn what club a player used through a physical act. If the player had covered his clubs with a towel, for example, you would not be permitted to remove the towel to view his clubs [Decision 8-1/11].

I have a great deal of respect for my non-English-speaking readers who struggle to communicate in a foreign language. When I publish a question that some readers may have difficulty understanding, I make a few grammatical corrections but try my best to keep the original flavor. Don’t ever hesitate to write because you’re not fluent in English. One way or another, I will figure out what you’re trying to ask.

Copyright © 2018 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Ask Linda #1825-Ask Linda #1823 revisited

Dear readers,

When I answered the reader’s question in #1823, I assumed (perhaps incorrectly) that this reader meant that the ball hit towards the hazard might be lost outside the hazard. I have received several responses questioning whether the player was entitled to hit a provisional ball. I can see that it is necessary for me to expand my answer.

If the area around the hazard is such that the ball may be lost outside the hazard (e.g., obscured by tall grasses, fallen leaves, etc.), the player may hit another ball provisionally [Rule 27-2a]. This being the case, my original answer stands.

However, if the area around the hazard is closely mown and free of leaves or other debris, such that a ball not found would be certain to be in the hazard, the player is not entitled to hit a provisional. In this case, the ball that the player called “provisional” would actually be her ball in play. It would be her third stroke on the hole, and she would not be entitled to continue play with her original ball, even if it were found and playable [Decision 27-2a/2]. Her next stroke with the ball she mislabeled “provisional” would be her fourth shot on the hole.

Please read Decisions 27-2a/2, 27-2a/2.2, and 27-2a/2.5.

Copyright © 2018 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Ask Linda #1824-Play holes out of order

Playing in a shotgun tournament!
One group skipped a hole around another group playing slowly. They returned to play the hole after finishing their last hole in the shotgun.
Does this disqualify them? Not playing holes in the same order as all the rest of the players?
Lulu from Palm Desert, California

Dear Lulu,

Yes. The players are disqualified for not playing the holes in the correct sequence. While the Committee may authorize players to start at a hole other than #1 (as would occur in a shotgun), the correct sequence of holes must be maintained [Definition of “Stipulated Round” and Rule 11-4b].

Copyright © 2018 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.