Ladies here are some questions that I have received recently about playing our course along with the answers. I welcome your Rules questions so don’t hesitate to e mail me.
Question 1. Earlier this year we used the local rule to “lift clean and place, fairway only”. None of us realized that specification on hole 2 and a player move her ball in the rough and played it from there. About 4 holes later we actually read the instructions and realized the error. I assume a Rule is a Rule, and it is the responsibility of everyone to know the Rules, so this individual should have been penalized 2 strokes. We did not tell the Committee or the player, and it was fortunate that this player did not win any money. What is the Rule covering this, what should have been the penalty, and when is it too late to enforce a penalty like this?
Answer. The player in question played her ball from a wrong place. She lifted it where it was not allowed, put it in a different position, and played it from there. As it was not a serious breach, meaning she did not get a significant distance advantage, she should have been penalized two strokes. A serious breach would incur disqualification.
In stroke play normally a penalty must not be added after the competition is closed. The Committee decides when that is. It can be when all scorecards are signed and turned in, or when results have been announced or posted. The only time after the competition is closed that a penalty may be enforced is if the player knew they had incurred a penalty and did not record it. Then at any time after the competition has closed they may be disqualified.
One play day on hole 4 a player put a ball in the water that crosses the fairway. Some of the group said under the new Rules she could drop on the other side, just as you can on hole 2. I didn’t agree, thinking rules had not changed for yellow stakes. Am I correct and it’s only where there are red stakes that one can take a lateral drop?
Would you mind sending out an email to our ladies clarifying penalty options for holes 2, 4, and 17? There’s the drop on 17 we can use when a tee shot goes into the water but what options does a player have to play a ball that goes into the water later on 17?
Answer. There is a common misunderstanding that the Rules for water hazards, now called penalty areas, have changed, they have not.
The USGA has become more liberal so that Clubs may line their penalty areas with red stakes where previously they were yellow stakes. The reasoning is to speed up play and allow players to take a lateral drop, rather than the more time consuming going back in line with the pin or where last stroke was made.
The way of dropping a ball under a Rule has changed. The height of the drop and only using the longest club in your bag, not putter, to measure the drop area, but that is the same for any drop under any Rule now.
Hole 2. The Club decided to change the stakes from yellow to red around the penalty area (water). Hence, if, and only if, your ball crosses the hazard on the “green-side”, hits land or sand and bounces back into the water, can you take a lateral drop on the “green-side”, at the place where your ball last crossed the hazard, no closer to the hole.
Hole 4. Yellow stakes line the penalty area, (water across the fairway) so if similar event happens there as on 2 you CANNOT drop on the other side.
Similarly on hole 12 where the water crosses the fairway……….yellow stakes. Go back in line with the pin, or where last stroke was made, drop a ball and make your next stroke from there with one penalty stroke.
Hole 17. The Club decided to keep yellow stakes around the penalty area (water), and put in the drop zone. If your ball goes into the penalty area from teeing area you may use the drop zone for your next stroke and take a one stroke penalty. Once you have passed the drop zone the normal Rules apply for penalty areas with yellow stakes. Back in line with the pin or where you made your last stroke, you cannot go backwards and use the drop zone.
I hope this helps you.