There have been a number of rules questions asked recently
that I would like to share with the group.
1. Two people are hitting the same make of
ball—even down to the number on the ball.
Neither has marked their ball with an identifying mark. Both hit their balls and end up in the
same general area. When they
arrive at their balls, one has a good lie, the other is under a bush. As neither have an identifying mark,
what happens if they cannot tell which ball belongs to each player?
Answer: Decision 27/10: Both
balls are considered lost and both players must go back to where their original
ball was played and hit again (stroke and distance). Note: There is no rule that states that you must mark your ball, (Rule 6-5 and 12-2) but if either
person had put a mark on her ball, this problem would have been avoided.
2. What is the proper way to remove loose
impediments either on the putting green or anywhere through the green?
Answer: Decision 23-1/1: Loose impediments may be moved by
any means, except that in removing loose impediments on the line of putt the
player must not press anything down (Rule 16-1a). This would include removing loose impediments with a cap or
towel (Dec. 16-1a/8) or brushing loose impediments, using many strokes with the
palm of your hand (Dec 16-1a/9 – revised since 2008-09).
3. Some of the bridges (example: the
bridge on the left side of the ditch on hole 10 or the bridge over the second
ditch on hole 15), have flat stones that have been placed on either side of
bridge. If the ball comes to rest
on these stones or the grass in between the stones, is a person entitled to
Answer: (Rule 24-2b): Yes, these are considered to be
immovable obstructions. The player may lift the ball and drop it, without
penalty, within one club-length of and not nearer the hole than the nearest
point of relief. The nearest point
of relief must not be in a hazard.
Note: This also
applies to the stones that have been placed by the cart paths near the
greens. They are considered part
of the cart path and hence subject to relief under the same rule.
a player use a tee to mark her ball on the green?
Decision 20-1/16: The note
to Rule 20-1 states that the position a ball to be lifted should be marked with
a ball marker, small coin or other similar object. Other methods of marking, e.g., placing the tow of a
club at the side or behind the ball, a tee or a loose impediment are
permissible but not recommended.
question regarding the proper way to span a ball on the green to
avoid interfering with another player’s stance or stroke I had to forward to
PWGA for the answer. Here it is:
moving a ball or ball-marker to the side to prevent it from interfering with
another player’s stance or stroke, the player may measure from the side of the
ball or ball-marker. In order to
accurately replace the ball on the spot from where it was lifted, the steps
used to move the ball or the ball-marker should be reversed.
ball is hit and lands on the bridge over the ditch (which is marked with yellow stakes) on hole 14. What are the options for playing the ball?
Answer: Rule 26/1: The bridge is
considered part of the hazard as the margins of the hazard extend vertically upwards
and downwards. As part of the hazard
you are may play the ball as it lies (on the bridge), or under penalty of one
stroke, (1) play the ball at the place nearest to where the original ball was
played, or (2) drop the ball behind the hazard, keeping the point at which the
ball last crossed the margin of the hazard directly between the hole and the
spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind the water
hazard the ball may be dropped.
question in regarding the ball being played from the bridge is: Can the player ground her club on the bridge?
Answer: Decision 13-4/30: Yes, the player may ground her
club. The bridge is an
obstruction. In a hazard, the club
may touch an obstruction at address or in the backward movement for the stroke
(see note under Rule 13-4).
final question came from the Nine and Wine play day. One of the player’s hit her ball into a hazard. It was visible in tall grass so she
opted to hit it out of the hazard.
When she hit her ball, another ball, which was not visible, was hit out
of the hazard along with hers. Was
there a penalty involved?
(also thanks to PWGA) although it refers to a bunker, it is the same for any
hazard. In stroke play, B, in playing a stroke at his ball in a
bunker, accidentally hits A’s ball that was also in the bunker. Both balls come to rest outside the
bunker. A plays his ball from the
spot to which it has been moved by B’s stroke. What is the ruling?
A: A was required to replace his ball in the
bunker—Rule 18-4. A’s breach of
Rule 18-4 was a serious and he should have been disqualified under Rule 20-7c
unless the serious breach was rectified as prescribed in the Rule. B incurred no penalty –