Ladies let’s start this year of my Golf Rules e mails by covering some of the possibly misunderstood situations that can happen during play.
1. Rebecca has a fantastic shot to the green of hole #2 of Discovery Bay Country Club and she’s excited to make a birdie. She makes her putt but ball rolls right over the hole and fails to drop in. The ball comes to rest on the other side of the hole. Rebecca reaches across the hole with her putter and taps the ball in the hole.
Does Rebecca incur?
a) A one stroke penalty
b) Two stroke penalty
c) No penalty
The misconception is that Rebecca is not allowed to putt her ball from across the hole but… ….she is.
Rebecca would have been a breach of Rule 16-1e if she had stood “astride” the line of her putt but in this situation her ball was on the other side of the hole.
In the Golf Rules “Definition” of Line of Putt at the end it states “……….The line of putt does not extend beyond the hole.” So, no penalty for Rebecca, and sadly no birdie either!
2 a) Bessie is putting her ball on the green of hole number 4 and the removed flagstick is lying on the putting surface, and her ball in motion is about to hit it. Can one of the other players move the flagstick?
2 b) Bessie is putting her ball on the green of hole number 7 and her ball in motion is about to hit a wedge that another player has left near the green in the fringe. Can one of the other players move the wedge?
Well Bessie is in luck, both answers are YES.
When a ball is IN MOTION, an obstruction that might influence the movement of the ball, OTHER THAN EQUIPMENT OF ANY PLAYER OR THE FLAGSTICK WHEN ATTENDED, REMOVED OR HELD UP, must not be moved.
So the wedge and the flagstick can be moved, but a movable obstruction such as a pine cone, stone, leaf etc may be moved before you make your putt, but NOT once your ball is in motion.
3. You accidentally touch your ball that is in play with your club and you move your ball. Are you always penalized? This can be another golf rule misconception.
If the ball does not move from its spot and just rocks from its original spot but it returns to the same place, IT HAS NOT MOVED. Crazy eh, must be a time warp?
According to the Definition of “Moved”
“A ball is deemed to have “moved” if it leaves its original position and comes to rest in any other place.” If the ball does not “move” there is no penalty.
This is a test of a player’s integrity, but if you are certain that every dimple of your ball came back to its original position then there is no penalty.
I hope this helps you.