The last 2010 Rules quiz (Hilary)

Hi Ladies:

It’s hard to believe our 18 holers’ golfing season is winding down. Time flies when you’re having fun.

This year we started our quizzes by covering “Nearest point of relief”, how to do it and when. Like at the staked tree on hole #1 or the cart path on hole #9.

We then learned not to carry a paper cup for our Kahlua in our golf cart as it could turn into an outside agency and move our ball.

Pesky ducks on hole #7 taught us how to deal with “Moving outside agencies” that think our ball is their egg.

Then last month those determined little insects on our ball showed us when to squish ‘em and when to leave them alone.

Let’s have a our last trip trip around our course for this year and see what trouble we can find.

1. Here we are on hole #8 and our ball is lying on the fringe of the putting green. It’s kinda narrow there and your fellow competitor’s ball is 10 yards behind you and they are getting ready to chip on to the green.
You kindly say, “Let me get my ball out of your way.” You go and mark your ball correctly and then pick it up.

Have you broken any Rule?

Yes you have. You have just broken rule 22-2.

You MAY lift your ball if you think it’s going to ASSIST another player but not if you think if would interfere. However your competitor CAN have your ball lifted if they think it will interfere with their next stroke.

Next time wait ‘til your competitor asks YOU to lift it. It’s hard to believe this but being nice can sometimes be a bad idea.

2. Peggy Sue’s ball lies near to, but to the side of your ball, in the fairway. It’s her turn to play and she asks you to lift your ball just because it catches her eye giving mental interference. What is the ruling?
A. It’s your choice, lift it or leave it

B. If you lift your ball you’ll get a penalty under rule 22-2 as in question #1

C. You must lift your ball.

D. You tell Peggy Sue to “suck it up” and quit whining

ANSWER: C. Decision 22/1 says that a player is entitled to have a ball lifted if it interferes mentally or physically with their play. If you refuse to lift your ball you will be disqualified, Rule 3-4

Let’s keep with this mental stuff and try this one.

3. You are on the fairway of hole #10. You get ready to hit your ball but a sprinkler head is between your feet and the ball.

A. You can move your ball/get free relief due to mental interference

B. You have to play it where it is and suck it up.

ANSWER: B. Unlike Peggy Sue, you must "suck it up" if the sprinkler head does not interfere with the lie of your ball, your stance, or area of swing.

4. Hole #17. Your tee shot just gets over the water, whew your lucky day. It lands on the grass and slowly rolls into the bunker in front of the green. Because it’s a long bunker shot you fail to get out and your ball lands back in the bunker 10 feet in front of where is was . You rake the bunker and walk forward to try again. What is your penalty?
A. You get a two stroke penalty for raking/ testing the surface of the bunker.

B. No penalty.

C. $50 because you decide to get bunker lessons

D. A one stroke penalty

ANSWER: B and C. After playing you ball in the bunker you may smooth the sand provided nothing is done to breach Rule 13-2 with respect to your next stroke. As your ball lay some distance from your raking there is no penalty. As for the $50, maybe it would be money well spent!

That’s it Ladies for this season. I hope you enjoyed the quizzes and they helped you.



August Rules quiz (Hilary)

Hi Ladies:

Let’s have some fun with “loose impediments” and see what we know, don’t know, and what we should do.

1. Our ball is on the fairway surrounded by little pieces of cut grass. We think, “Thank goodness they’ve finally mowed the rough!” We remove them from around the ball, and one piece that’s stuck on our ball. The ball does not move. Penalty or no penalty?

Answer. No penalty for removing the grass around the ball BUT a one stroke penalty for removing the grass adhering to the ball.

Decision 21/2 says that anything “adhering to the ball” is not a loose impediment. The grass is a loose impediment when it’s on the ground, not when it’s on your ball.

2. Your ball is on the fringe of the green and, before you make your next stroke, you remove some twigs, leaves, loose soil and sand from around your ball. The ball does not move. Penalty or no penalty?

Answer. It’s tricky.

No penalty for removing the twigs and leaves as they are "loose impediments."

But a TWO STROKE penalty for removing the loose soil and sand, because here they are not “loose impediments.” You have improved your lie, area of intended stance, swing or line of play. Rule 13-2.

3. Now you’re on the putting green, and you’re very angry because your “lying 3” became a 5. You mark your ball and, on your line of play, there’s some sand and loose soil. Can you remove them, or will it be another two stroke penalty?

Answer. Here on the putting green sand and loose soil ARE loose impediments so you can remove them. No penalty, Rule 16-1

Go figure who decided this, and what do they have against loose soil and sand eh?

Finally a very tricky one …….

Your ball lies on the fairway and a live insect is on your ball, can you remove it?

Yes, because unlike the grass in question #1, it is not considered to be adhering to your ball because it has legs and can walk and therefore is a “loose impediment”. BUT if your ball moves while removing the pesky critter you get a one stroke penalty and have to replace your ball.

The trickiness continues……

Same ball, same insect on your ball, but now in a bunker. Can you remove the insect?

NO. Even though he’s still a "loose impediment" he’s in the bunker and that is forbidden.

However, as he is capable of moving on his own you may wave your hand over it, or blow on it to encourage it to fly away on its own, but be sure not to move your ball or touch the sand. If you remove the insect with your fingers you will be penalized TWO STROKES under Rule 13-4c.

The final trickiness……

Same ball, same determined little insect on your ball, and now you’re on the putting green. Can you remove the insect?

Yes, yes, yes you can.

You can mark and lift your ball and squish him really hard, which he deserves for following you around all this time.

You can blow him off, wave your hand over him, AND you can pick him off with your fingers. Even if your ball moves there’s NO PENALTY.

As long as the movement of your ball was DIRECTLY ATTRIBUTABLE to the removal of a loose impediment it’s allowed on the putting green under Rule 23-1.

Now I’m sure you’re totally confused, but a good Rule to follow is:

When in doubt "PLAY THE BALL AS IT LIES."

I hope this helps you, and please note that I said that the insect was a HIM, no LADYbug would dare to bug us.


July rules quiz (Hilary)

Hi Ladies:

I’ve recently been asked to repeat a couple of my Rules e mails. I’ve changed them up a little so you don’t get bored, and I’ve also changed the dog in last time’s example to some ducks. Now you’re really wondering what this is all about so here we go with the first quiz.

  1. Which of the following is a stroke?
  2. a) Backward and forward swing of the club, and the clubhead must make contact with the ball

    b) One added to the player’s score when the player is in breach of certain Rules

    c) Forward movement of the club made with the intention of striking and moving the ball

    d) Forward movement of the club when the player checks their downswing voluntarily before the clubhead reaches the ball

    Answer c) This is the Definition of a Stroke. The key to remember is:

    “The intention to hit the ball with a forward movement of the club.”

  1. Kathy is on the teeing ground, puts her ball on a tee and makes a practice swing and whoops she accidentally strikes and moves her ball with her club. What is the consequence?
  2. a) Her playing partners yell out in unison “ONE”.

    b) She gets a one stroke penalty for moving her ball

    c) Her stroke counts, but no penalty

    d) There is no penalty

    Answer d) As you can see from question #1 Mary Beth didn’t make a stroke as she had no INTENTION of hitting her ball.

    A “ball is in play”as soon as a player has made a stroke on the teeing ground. As she had not put a ball in play there is no penalty.

  1. Kathy and her ball are now in the fairway laying two. She makes a practice stroke and again accidentally moves her ball. What are the consequences?
  2. a) Her playing partners rename her Kathy Klutz

    b) She has made a stroke at her ball and is now laying three

    c) She has made a stroke at her ball, and gets a penalty stroke, so she’s laying four

    d) She gets a one stroke penalty for moving her ball and is laying three

    Answer is d).

    Again, as in question #1, she didn’t make a stroke as she had no INTENTION of hitting her ball, BUT this time her ball is

    “in play” so she gets a one stroke penalty for moving it.

    She MUST replace it before she makes a stroke at her ball. If she doesn’t, you guessed it, she adds another one stroke penalty.

    Now here come the ducks that you’ve been wondering about…………….quack,quack, quack.

  3. Kathy plays her approach shot on hole #5 only to see that those poopy ducks are back again and are waddling across the green. After her ball lands about three feet from the pin, she sees the ducks scurrying away and then she sees her ball is now ten feet away. What happens now?
  4. a) Kathy runs after the ducks waving her 9 iron wildly in their direction

    b) She plays her ball, without penalty, from the spot where it ended up 10 feet away from the hole

    c) She replaces her ball, without penalty, three feet away from the hole where it was before it was moved


    a) Is understandable, but not in the Spirit of the Game of Golf, even though whacking them with her club would maybe stop them pooping

    b) Is correct, IF her ball was accidentally DEFLECTED by the ducks.

    They would be an “Outside Agency” and it’s “the rub of the green”. Rule 19-1

    c) Is correct, IF she saw one of the ducks PICK UP her ball and take it to that spot 10 feet away, maybe thinking it was an egg?

    Under Rule 19-1a the duck would be an “animate Outside Agency” and she can replace her ball, without penalty, as near as possible to the spot where her ball came to rest when the duck picked it up.

    Whatever really happened let’s hope Kathy makes her putt wherever it’s from.

I hope this helps you.


June rules tips (Hilary)

Hi Ladies:

With our handicap tournament coming up fast I would like to share with you a few misconceptions with the Rules that can get you into trouble.

The consequences can range from a two stroke penalty to the dreaded two letter word, DQ. Disqualification.

I’m making them brief so you’ll read them, but if you want to know any of the Rule numbers/decisions let me know.

I’m sure most of you know these but …………….just in case.

Know this rule for the water on hole #9 and the lake near that pesky willow tree on hole #10 or you could be out of the game.

You cannot declare you are hitting a “provisional ball” if you think your ball went into a water hazard.

You can play another ball ONLY if you see your ball go into a water hazard.

You cannot assume your ball went into a hazard just because there is a possibility it did.

If you don’t see it you can’t do it!

If you hit another ball calling it a “provisional” and then you find your original ball lies out of the hazard and you play it you have broken two rules and incur a three stroke penalty.

If you continue with your second ball it’s still three stroke penalty.

If you get a significant advantage in either example you will be disqualified.

Next one.

Remember this on hole #14 when your ball goes out of the fence onto the road or rests up against the fence. You don’t want to be DQd and out of the tournament.

If your ball goes out of bounds you cannot go to where it went ob and drop a ball, if you do you can be disqualified, you are only allowed to play a ball from where your last stroke was made.

If your ball lands next to an OB fence or a white OB stake you cannot get relief as these are NOT defined as obstructions. If you do you will get a two stroke penalty.

Your options are to hit it where it lies, or take an unplayable lie.

Remember last month I wrote about “Nearest Point of Relief”? Well you must be sure that when you take relief, say from a cart path, you get FULL relief.

If your feet are even slightly on the path it’s a two stroke penalty for playing from a wrong place. It’s easy to do, but the penalty is huge.

My last reminder is one I’m sure you’ve all seen.

One of your fellow competitors marks their ball on the green and when they replace it they put ahead of their marker. “What’s a half an inch?” they say “It looks okay to me.” I know we all wish we were closer to the hole but any tiny distance comes with a big two stroke penalty. Mark your ball and put it back exactly where it was before you lifted it.

If you do it a number of times during your round it’s disqualification for you under Rule 33-7/6.

Don’t be out of the tournament because you didn’t know the Rules.

I hope this helps you, and good wishes for great play in the tournament.


Pilings on Hole #12 (Frances)

There has been some discussion about how to play a ball that comes to rest against the pilings on the cart path on Hole #12. After much discussion with the Pro Shop, our Rules Chairperson and even some of the male club members, there is agreement that the way that the Discovery Bay Country Club has set up the markings for hazards and boundaries they have designated the wood pilings that line the cart path and lateral water hazard on hole #12 to be a part of the course. Although these pilings are on the lateral hazard margin, and line this hazard, the Club allows relief to be taken. A player may find their “nearest point of relief,” no closer to the hole, on the grass alongside the cart path and drop a ball.

However, this does not apply if the ball is on the “bridge” portion of the cart path. If the ball comes to rest on the bridge, it is considered in the hazard. (It may be played from the bridge, without penalty, if the player so desires).

If you have any questions regarding this situation, please feel free to ask Hilary or me for clarification.

Happy Golfing… Frances

May Rules Quiz (Hilary)

Hi Ladies:

Are you ready? The sun is out and it’s quiz time.

Here we go…………………

1. Which of the following are loose impediments?
a) Your crazy fellow competitor
b) A wooden bench
c) A paper cup with your coffee and kahlua in
d) Pebbles, leaves, a banana peel

Answer: d) Definition of Loose Impediments

2. In stroke play, both your ball and a large pine cone lie in the same bunker. The pine cone is directly in front of the ball. Which one of the following is correct?

a) You may remove the pine cone without penalty before making your stroke in the bunker
b) Under penalty of one stroke you may place the ball anywhere in the bunker
c) You may play the ball as it lies or proceed under Rule 28 Unplayable Lie
d) Without penalty you may drop the ball within one club length of the nearest point of relief.

Answer: c) Rule 13-4. You are not allowed to touch or move a loose impediment lying in a bunker. (Using Rule 28 Unplayable lie in a bunker you have three options which all cost you one stroke and under options b and c you must DROP the ball in the bunker)

3) In match play you’re on the green and you mark and lift your ball and then you accidentally drop it, striking and moving your opponent’s ball. What is the ruling?
a) Blame your shaky hand on the kahlua in your cart and offer your opponent a drink
b) You are not penalized and both balls must be replaced
c) You lose the hole
d) You incur one penalty stroke and the balls must be replaced.

Answer: d) Rule 18-3b, 18/7.5, and Definition of “Equipment”. A ball that has been lifted is no longer in play and is “equipment” so sadly you get a one stroke penalty.

4) In stroke play you hit your ball into some thick rough and search for it for 5 minutes and can’t find it. You look for another minute, find your ball and play it. What is the ruling?

a) There is no penalty
b) There is a two stroke penalty for delay of play
c) There is a two stroke penalty for playing a wrong ball

Answer: c) Your ball was lost and therefore “out of play” when the five minutes expired. It’s a two stroke penalty, or loss of hole in match play. You must return to where you last played and play from there under Rule 27-1, stroke and distance. You will be disqualified if you continue and play from the next tee.

5) Remember that cup of kahlua you have in your cart that you thought earlier in question #1 could be a loose impediment, and later gave you shaky hands, well the empty cup flies onto the green and your ball comes to rest inside it.
Wow we really can imagine that happening eh? But things might be getting better as the wind blows it closer to the hole. What is the ruling?

a) Ban all kahlua/coffee drinkers and paper cups from the course
b) You must play the ball from its new position as the wind is not an outside agency
c) You must lift the ball and place it as near as possible at the spot directly under the place where it was inside the cup before the wind blew it.
d) Drink your kahlua directly out of the bottle next time.

Answer: c) Rule 18-1/7. The whole point of this very complicated story is to remind you that: If your ball is moved by an outside agency, such as your cup, you must replace it to where it was before. If it is moved by the wind, which is not an outside agency, you play it where it now lies.
As your ball was in the cup, and the cup, an outside agency,was moved by the wind, the cup is responsible.

After these questions we all need a drink!

I hope you enjoyed this crazy quiz and it helps you.


April’s Rules Quiz (Hilary)

Hi Ladies:

Here’s a quiz about the Definition “Nearest Point of Relief” and how to use it in the Rules.

A) The “Nearest Point of Relief” is:

  1. The point at which the ball last crossed the margin of a water hazard before coming to rest in the hazard.
  2. The nearest playable lie, not nearer the hole than where the original ball came to rest in an Unplayable lie.
  3. The reference point for taking relief from interference by an Immovable Obstruction.
  4. The point two club lengths from where a dropped ball first strikes a point on the course
  5. All of the above.

The answer is ONLY #3.

B) The “Nearest Point of Relief” is used in the following Rules.

  1. Water Hazards
  2. Immovable Obstructions
  3. Lost Ball
  4. Abnormal Ground Conditions
  5. Wrong Putting Green

The answer is #2, #4 and #5.

We can ONLY use the term “Nearest Point of Relief” when using two Rules.

Rule 25-1 and -3 Abnormal Ground Conditions (25-1) which are Ground Under Repair, Casual Water, or a hole or cast made by a burrowing animal or bird, and Wrong Putting Green (25-3).

Rule 24-2 Immovable Obstructions.

Often when a player drops a ball under the Water Hazard or Unplayable Lies Rule they say incorrectly that they are measuring for their “Nearest Point of Relief” to find where to drop their ball.

Let’s go around our course and find some places where you can correctly use these two Rules for your free, no penalty involved, “Nearest Point of Relief”


As you get close to the green there is an area on the right where a tree was cut down and the area around here is roped off with a “Ground Under Repair” sign.

Your wonderful shot to the green lands right there in the dirt but luckily this is a place where, under Rule 25-1, you can get free relief but how do you do this correctly?

1. Mark the position of your ball with a tee or a marker.

2. Take the club that you are going to hit your next shot with and find the place nearest to where your ball lies where, the club head is no longer in the ground under repair , not closer to the hole, and your stance is not within it.

3. Place a second tee or marker where your club head is resting on the ground.

4. Pick up you ball, and stand at your second marker and drop a ball within one club length of this point. It is allowed to roll two club lengths, no closer to the hole. The two club lengths the ball can roll can be measured with any club in your bag. You don’t have to use the club you are going to make your next shot with.

5. As long as the ball rolls no more than two clubs lengths, no closer to the hole, where the ball comes to rest is where you make your next stroke. Pick up your markers and hit away.

You have just found a much better place to hit from using your “Nearest Point of Relief” and Rule 25-1 and it was free!

Hole #9

Your shot from the fairway veers to the left and ends up on the cart path, what can you do? Here’s another place for finding your “Nearest Point of Relief” and getting a free drop under Rule 24-2 Immovable Obstructions.

Measuring here can be a little tricky as, remember your ball cannot be closer to the hole, and your dropping point has to be at the closest place on the course to where your ball lies. To take relief locate the nearest point where you can take your stance and swing without interference from the path.

The Nearest Point of Relief is easy if your ball is close either side of the path but the tricky part can come if you ball is nearer to the middle. What you must do then is find your nearest point of relief on both sides of the path and measure from where your ball lies to see which point of relief is nearer.

Make sure you always mark where your ball lies so you have a reference point if needed. Sometimes you can be surprised that your “Nearest point of relief” is not on the side you thought it would be.

Hole #6

It’s hard to find a place on our course to give you an example of “Nearest Point of Relief” for Rule 25-3 Wrong Putting Green but let’s stretch our imaginations!

You’re on the fairway of Hole #6 and sadly you hit your second shot way, way, way left. I said we are using our imaginations ok? Your ball lands on the putting green of Hole #7 but the Rules do not allow you to hit it from the green, you have to take relief. How do we do this one?

I’m sure you know by now.

Mark your ball on the green.

Find your Nearest Point of Relief for your ball off the putting green using the club you are going to use for your next shot, no nearer to Hole #6 that you’re going to, and mark this place. This is usually on the fringe. Your feet can still be on the green but your ball must not be.

Drop the ball within one club length of this marker and it may roll two club lengths but no closer to hole #6.

Hit your ball from this place.

I hope this helps you find your deserved relief.


Smart Phones

Smart Phones as Distance Measuring Devices:

Although WGANC Local Rules prohibit the use of cellular phones except in emergencies, many smart phone devices now include distance measuring applications for golf. The use of a smart phone with this application is allowed with all of the same provisions of our Local Rule for distance measuring devices; that is, the phone must not contain any other applications that might affect her play. Examples of prohibited applications include those that provide a compass, altimeter (elevation), or temperature.

The IPhone model 3GS comes with a built-in compass application that cannot be de-installed; therefore, use of the 3GS as a distance measuring device is prohibited.

The IPhone model 3G does not come with any prohibited applications; therefore, as long as the player has not added prohibited applications, it may be used under our local rule. It is the player’s responsibility to ensure her device conforms to our local rule.

The cell phone feature of these smart phones must not be used except in emergencies. It goes without saying that if using a smart phone as a distance measuring device, the ring tone should be set to Silent.

First 2010 Rules Quiz (Hilary)

Hi Ladies:

It seems like the sun is finally coming out to stay so I’d better dust off my Rules quiz book. Here’s the first one for this year. Enjoy.

A. Here you are on the green of hole number one and while taking your practice strokes preparing to putt you strike your ball.

What penalty, if any have you incurred?

ANSWER. Although you certainly did not intend to strike the ball, and have not therefore made a stroke, you do incur a one stroke penalty under Rule 18-2a for causing the ball to move except as permitted by a Rule. You must replace the ball to where it was when you hit it accidentally.

B. After you are forced to take a drop as your ball goes into the lateral hazard on hole number 9, you find the nearest point of relief, no closer to the hole of course, and drop your ball according to the Rules. On the drop, the ball rolls approximately 25 feet from the place where it first struck the course when dropped. The ball didn’t roll closer to the hole.

Is a re-drop necessary?

ANSWER. Rule 20-2 requires a ball to be re-dropped if it rolls more than two club-lengths from the spot where your dropped ball first touched the golf course.

You must re-drop the ball.

C. During a round in a team play event you witness a Rules breach by your opponent in match play.

After completion of the round, you go to the Rules committee to inform them of the violation and seek a ruling.

Did you proceed correctly to receive a ruling on the violation?

ANSWER. Sadly no, you missed several steps.

According to Rule 2-5, the Rules committee can only consider a claim if the reporting player has informed his opponent that he/she is making the claim, the facts of the claim, and his desire for a ruling.

The claim must be made before any player in the match plays from the next teeing ground or, if the last hole, before all players have left the final green.

D. Anna and Maria are playing against one another in a match-play competition.

While both are on the putting green preparing to putt, Anna marks Maria’s ball and tosses it to her as a courtesy.

Is either person subject to a penalty?

ANSWER. Rule 20-1 states that a player’s ball may be lifted by an opponent with the player’s permission. Since Anna did not ask for permission to mark and lift the ball, she has innocently run afoul of the Rules and incurs a one-stroke penalty according to Rule 18-3(b)].

E. During a round played in a severe Discovery Bay wind, Sally’s ball comes to rest on the green. As the players approach the green, the ball begins to move, blown by the wind, away from the hole.

Sally says the ball was moved by an outside agency and she replaces her ball near the spot where it rested before it began to move.

Did Sally act correctly?

ANSWER. No, she did not.

Under the Rules of Golf wind is not considered an outside agency.

The ball must be played from wherever the wind blew it to, whether that was nearer to, or farther from the hole.

I hope this helps you, and the sun stays out!


iPhones and Smart Phones (Hilary)


I will be posting on our notice board in the locker room the WGANC ruling regarding the use of iPhones and Smart phone as distance measuring devices. (Click here to view.) This ruling is in acordance with the new 2010 decision for the use of iPhones and Smart phones during your rounds of golf. I will also give a copy to our tournament committee for their use during play days and tournaments.

The iPhone 3GS comes with a compass app that cannot be removed, so it is not allowed. The iPhone model 3G does not, so that model can be used.

It’s the compass they are worried about as you could work out which way the course/greens slope.

Any questions?…. don’t hesitate to e mail me.