ASK JACK - About the Rules of Golf

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Comments: 382
  • #382

    Jack (Sunday, 25 July 2021 19:24)

    Ref #381
    Your question Graham is fully answered by :-
    Rule 15.3b - Ball Anywhere on Course Interfering with Play.

    15.3b(1) - Interference under this Rule exists when another player’s ball at rest:
    Might interfere with the player’s area of intended stance or area of intended swing.

    15.3b(2) - The player may require the other player to mark the spot and lift the ball (see Rule 14.1), and the ball must not be cleaned.

    These details above are extracts from Rule 15.3b and you should read the full Rule for more details.

  • #381

    Graham (Sunday, 25 July 2021 08:42)

    I want to put my ball from 2 yards off the green. My partners ball is also off the green but 1 yard off and in my way - can they mark it

  • #380

    Jack (Saturday, 24 July 2021 18:58)

    Ref #379
    "Clean and Place" is a Local Rule Teena, and it depends on how it is written by your committee.

    It is based on E-3 Preferred Lies in the Rules of Golf -
    "When a player's ball lies in a part of the general area cut to fairway height or less, the player may take free relief ONCE by placing the original ball or another ball in and playing it from this relief area."

    Only ONCE Teena, if the ball moves - bad luck!
    Just play it.

  • #379

    Teena (Saturday, 24 July 2021 01:10)

    We have 1 club length placing on. The ball is marked and player has placed ball but it rolls away while marker is still done. Do you replace ball or play it where it lies

  • #378

    Jack (Wednesday, 21 July 2021 13:54)

    Ref #377
    Reading your question Dez it was clear you made a couple of mistakes.

    Rule 19.1 reads: Player May Decide to Take Unplayable Ball Relief Anywhere Except Penalty Area
    If a ball is unplayable in a penalty area, the player’s only relief option is to take penalty relief under Rule 17.

    Rule 17.1b - Player May Play Ball as It Lies in Penalty Area or Take Penalty Relief

    Having found your original Callaway ball after you played the first Callaway ball, obviously you failed to identify which was your original ball and had played a wrong ball.

    You now receive the General Penalty under Rule 6.3c(1)

  • #377

    Dez (Tuesday, 20 July 2021 02:02)

    I hit an approach shot into a stream (penalty area) protecting the green
    We all clearly saw where my ball gad entered the penalty area. While searching for my ball, a playing partner found a ball on the bank of the stream but within the marked penalty area. When asked what I was playing I replied "A Callaway" - I declared the ball as unplayable and dropped 1 club length from where we had seen my ball enter the penalty area. I chipped over the stream and made my putt only for another member of our 4 ball to fish my actual ball out of the stream. Have I played a wrong ball? Or did the penalty drop allow me to play a replacement ball as we were all 100% sure the ball was in the penalty area?

  • #376

    Jack (Tuesday, 13 July 2021 23:05)

    Ref #375
    There is no problem Lyndsey having your marker playing with you, as the committee has appoved this for you.
    I have copied below the Definition of a Marker and a Marker's Responsibility for your information.

    Definition of a Marker:
    In stroke play, the person responsible for entering a player’s score on the player’s scorecard and for certifying that scorecard. The marker may be another player, but not a partner.
    The Committee may identify who will be the player’s marker or tell the players how they may choose a marker.

    Rule 3.3b - Marker’s Responsibility:
    - Entering and Certifying Hole Scores on Scorecard. After each hole during the round, the marker should confirm with the player the number of strokes on that hole (including strokes made and penalty strokes) and enter that gross score on the scorecard.

    When the round has ended:
    - The marker must certify the hole scores on the scorecard.
    - If the player had more than one marker, each marker must certify the scores for those holes where he or she was the marker.

  • #375

    Lyndsey Kandel (Monday, 12 July 2021 11:38)

    If i have a marker to mark my score in a competition , can he/she also play golf with me at same time .
    the scenario is , i cant play the times stated for a competition so asked another member who has been okied by the commitee, to come out and mark my score for the competition.

  • #374

    Jack (Tuesday, 29 June 2021 23:55)

    Ref #373
    You are correct Colin regarding a penalty.
    Rule 9.4a - When Lifted or Moved Ball Must Be Replaced

    Rule 9.4b - Penalty for Lifting or Deliberately Touching Ball or Causing It to Move
    If the player lifts or deliberately touches his or her ball at rest or causes it to move, the player gets one penalty stroke.

    There are four exceptions and from your message only Exception 3 applies with no penalty....but only on a putting green.

  • #373

    Colin (Tuesday, 29 June 2021 02:34)

    I was playing a tie and opponent was off the green he hit his ball when taking a practice swing he said he could replace without penalty I said rule 9.4 gives some exemptions but not for hitting ball with putter as you are off the green your ball is still in play 1 stroke penalty can you help please thanks in advance

  • #372

    Jack (Sunday, 27 June 2021 22:04)

    Ref #371
    I have to assume from your question Robbie, that the Player had taken relief from a Red Penalty Area in accordance to Rule 17.1d.

    We then have to be certain as to what caused the ball at rest to move and refer to Rule 9.2b which lists Four Possible Causes:-

    The Rules recognize only four possible causes for a ball at rest that moves before the player makes a stroke:
    Natural forces, such as wind or water (see Rule 9.3),
    The player, including the player’s caddie (see Rule 9.4),
    The opponent in match play, including the opponent's caddie (see Rule 9.5), or
    An outside influence, including any other player in stroke play (see Rule 9.6).

    From your description, I guess that Natural Forces caused the movement and therefore Rule 9.3 then answers your question:-
    9.3 Ball Moved by Natural Force
    If natural forces (such as wind or water) cause a player’s ball at rest to move:
    There is no penalty, and
    The ball must be played from its new spot.

    That means the player must again decide the options available under Rule 17.1d.
    Regards Robbie, Jack

  • #371

    Robbie (Sunday, 27 June 2021 15:04)

    Hi Jack, A ball is in a penalty area. Player drops and it rolls back into penalty area twice. He then places ball where it touched ground from last drop. Ball is at rest and he moves away to get his club. The ball at rest then moves and rolls back into penalty area. What is the decision?

    Many Thanks Jack

  • #370

    Pauly (Sunday, 27 June 2021 13:50)

    Hi Jack. If I'm allowed a club length 'lift, clean, and place' on your own mown fairway, are you able to move your ball from the greens surround onto the green if you can do so within the limitations of your relief and don't move closer to the hole?

  • #369

    Jack (Friday, 25 June 2021 19:58)

    Ref #367
    Hi John. Rule 15.3 answers your question in full:-

    15.3 Ball on Putting Green Helping Play
    This Rule applies only to a ball at rest on the putting green.
    If you reasonably believe that a ball on the putting green might help anyone's play (such as by serving as a possible backstop near the hole), you may mark and lift the ball if it is your own, or if the ball belongs to another player, require the other player to mark and lift the ball.

    In stroke play only:
    A player who is required to lift a ball may play first instead, and
    If you and another player agree to leave a ball in place to help one of you, and that player then makes a stroke with the helping ball left in place, each player who made the agreement gets the general penalty (two penalty strokes).

  • #368

    Jack (Friday, 25 June 2021 19:12)

    Ref #366
    I have never played in a Texas Scramble Gerard and had to Google it for details!

    The allocation of player's handicaps appears to be decided by the local committee, so I cannot answer your question.
    I found the following from the R&A website:-

    I hope it might help. Good golfing, Jack

  • #367

    John (Thursday, 24 June 2021 11:40)

    When playing doubles or am am, can you leave your ball on the green to assist your partner who is playing from off the green and does not ask you to leave it

  • #366

    Gerard Price (Thursday, 24 June 2021 07:41)

    Hi Jack Recently I played in a Texas Scramble for teams of 3. The combined team handicap was worked out from 30% of lowest handicapper, 20% mid handicapper and 10% highest handicapper. A player didn't turn up leaving a team of two. Unfortunately nobody had any clue what a fair allocation of handicap would be for a two-man team, bearing in mind they would only have two shots from a chosen ball position whereas other teams would have three. Is there a recommended calculation for the two-man team handicap to be equitable. In the end the two-man team were not allowed to compete in the competition.

  • #365

    John Spurdle (Thursday, 24 June 2021 05:19)

    Hi Jack,

    In a recent round my drive on a hole bordered on the right by houses and gardens clearly went OB, a large bang was heard as the ball hit a wooden fence or shed (we think). I played a provisional which immediately became the ball in play but when walking down the middle of the fairway roughly adjacent to where my original ball went OB, my original ball was found on the fairway.

    We assumed a friendly or possibly infuriated homeowner had thrown it back. The discussion then followed, which ball is my in play ball ? My original ball was clearly OB and in the spirit of the game I continued with my provisional ball. Was I right or wrong ? Could I have played my original ball ?



  • #364

    Jack (Friday, 18 June 2021 22:55)

    Ref #363
    In answer to your question Carl........YES you can mark your ball on the green as soon as you wish, even if the others players are not there.

    In windy weather, you can often see professional players move quickly to their ball to mark it on the green before it is moved by the wind. Other players may still have shots to play.

    See Rules 13.1 and 14.1 for more information on this subject. Good golfing. Jack

  • #363

    Carl (Friday, 18 June 2021 03:46)

    Hi. Can i mark my ball when i am on the green even tho the other player,or players are not yet on the green. Or do i have to wait until all are on the green to mark up.

  • #362

    Jack (Thursday, 17 June 2021 04:30)

    Ref #359
    The gap your ball is in Peter, does not meet the definition of "Abnormal Course Condition" unless your committee has mentioned it in the Local Rules.

    You then in a situation similar to a ball stuck up a tree, in that you cannot declare it unplayable unless you can identify it as per Rule 7.2

    As this is not possible in your case, the ball becomes a LOST ball and you then must follow the procedure detailed in Rule 18.1.

  • #361

    Jack (Wednesday, 16 June 2021 03:30)

    Ref #358
    The fact that your partner tapped the ball into the hole when your opponents still had a 3-foot putt, meant he played out of turn.

    Under Rule 6.4a(2) the following applies:
    "Opponent May Cancel Player’s Stroke Made Out of Turn. If the player plays when it was the opponent's turn to play, there is no penalty but the opponent may cancel the stroke.

    "This must be done promptly and before either player makes another stroke. When the opponent cancels the stroke, he or she cannot withdraw the cancellation."

    As the opponents did not cancel the stroke, the stroke counts Eric.

  • #360

    Jack (Wednesday, 16 June 2021 03:06)

    Ref #357
    A very interesting message Mark and I have some sympathy with your comments. I have played this game for over 70 years and your basic rules were just about how we played when I began!

    Even when I sat my first rules exam in 1987, the rules were much simpler and when studying the latest rules for my last exam in 2019, it struck me that the book was very similar to a technical manual. This may be necessary for professional and big tournament golf, but I find most club golfers have a very limited knowledge of the new Rules 2019 because of all the detailed changes.

    Perhaps it is all too difficult!!
    Thanks , Mark

  • #359

    Peter Bennett (Tuesday, 15 June 2021 17:44)

    A ball lands in a edge of a bank (not a bunker) that has a gap which the ball disapears in. We can't find the ball, but know it's in there.
    What's the ruling ?

  • #358

    Eric Uk (Tuesday, 15 June 2021 15:46)

    Played foursomes match play. My partner putted for birdie and left it on edge of cup. Tapped in as he thought it was given. Opponents then putted for birdie from 3 feet but missed. Then declared they had not given the tap in putt. Claimed the hole as tap up not given. Want to clarify if not given must be declared before they made their birdie attempt.

  • #357

    Mark (Sunday, 13 June 2021 11:32)

    1) play the course as you find it
    2) play the ball where it lies
    Also don’t ground a club in the bunker
    And out of bound re-tee with a 2 stroke penalty

    I never touch my ball or the course after teeing up until I take my ball out of the cup.

    So no offense to them but the usga (it’s innovations) Seem to me to exist to violate these two basic rules of golf? why?

    For example: Preferred tees. Is thst play the course as you find it?

    Marking and raising cleaning and aligning your ball. Or taking relief. Is that play the ball where it lies, thanks

  • #356

    Jack (Saturday, 12 June 2021 23:05)

    Ref #354
    Finding the player's first ball in the hole for ONE is great news Winarno.

    Although you didn't see it, the fact that the ball was in the hole meant that the player had completed the hole. The provisional ball can be picked up!

    Good golfing. Jack

  • #355

    Jack (Saturday, 12 June 2021 22:53)

    Ref #353
    I presume the stream is marked as a Red Penalty Area Neville, which should be by red stakes or a red line.

    The point where your ball LAST crossed the edge of the penalty area, is where you take your relief from.
    The relief area is two club-lengths from this point and not nearer the hole for one penalty stroke.

    Refer to Rule 17.1d in your Player's Edition of te Rules of Golf. Good golfing. Jack

  • #354

    Winarno (Friday, 11 June 2021 21:01)

    You made hole in one in par 3. Due to sun light we couldn't see the ball, assuming your ball was lost you played pro ball. After your second stroke was played your partner found your original ball was in the hole. Which ball should be used in that particular hole?
    Regards Winarno

  • #353

    Neville (Friday, 11 June 2021 06:55)

    Hello Jack,
    Playing a hole that has a meandering stream running its length. If i strike the ball and it initially flies over the stream then above the general area and finishing in the stream further down the hole where do i take relief from.
    Regards Neville

  • #352

    Jack (Sunday, 06 June 2021 19:23)

    Ref #351
    You say that Player B’s ball is furthest from the hole Steve, which means that under Rule 6.4a(1) this ball is played first. If Player A’s original and provisional balls are both closer to the hole there is no penalty involved.

    Rule 6.4a(2) Opponent May Cancel Player’s Stroke Made Out of Turn. If the player plays when it was the opponent's turn to play, there is no penalty but the opponent may cancel the stroke:

    This must be done promptly and before either player makes another stroke. When the opponent cancels the stroke, he or she cannot withdraw the cancellation.
    If the opponent cancels the stroke, the player must, when it is his or her turn to play, play a ball from where that stroke was made (see Rule 14.6).
    If the opponent does not cancel the stroke, the stroke counts and the ball is in play and must be played as it lies.

  • #351

    Steve (Saturday, 05 June 2021 00:09)

    In match play, does a player A have to inform player B that player As found ball is the original or provisional ball before player B takes their shot. Player B is farthest from the hole so plays first and this information could affect their club selection for the shot.
    What is the penalty if any?

  • #350

    Jack (Saturday, 29 May 2021 00:06)

    Ref #349
    I have tried to picture your situation Michael but I cannot answer your question without a clear understanding of the course around the penalty area.

    If you have a copy of the Player's Edition of the Rules of Golf a careful study of Rule 17 should be helpful. There are drawings showing the three relief procedures available, one of which will answer the question.

    Rule 17.1d
    Relief for Ball in Penalty Area
    If a player's ball is in a penalty area the player has these relief options, each for one penalty stroke:
    (1) Stroke-and-Distance Relief. The player may play the original ball or another ball from where the previous stroke was made (see Rule 14.6).
    (2) Back-On-the-Line Relief. The player may drop the original ball or another ball (see Rule 14.3) in a relief area that is based on a reference line going straight back from the hole through the estimated point where the original ball last crossed the edge of the penalty area.
    (3) The player may take lateral relief (red penalty area only). The reference point for taking lateral relief is the estimated point where the original ball last crossed the edge of the red penalty area. The relief area is two club-lengths from the reference point, and not nearer to the hole.

  • #349

    Michael (Thursday, 27 May 2021 04:50)

    Morning Jack
    a ball comes to lie in a penalty area - playable but three inches in the penalty area marked by red stakes
    12 inches from the penalty area line is a GUR white line
    so player one can play his ball no problem - but he will be standing in the GUR area
    the question is where is his nearest point of relief?
    he cant drop further into the penalty area - then would be totally unplayable - cant go other side of the penalty area - out of bounds
    i assume he has to come out and drop course side - with no penalty shot - is this correct

  • #348

    Jack (Thursday, 27 May 2021 00:37)

    Ref #347
    Bad luck David as your "water bubble" is classified as casual water, under the definition of an Abnormal Course Condition no relief may be taken under this Rule from a Red Penalty Area.

    Rule 16.1a(2) - explains this as follows:-
    (2) Relief Allowed Anywhere on Course Except When Ball Is in Penalty Area. Relief from interference by an abnormal course condition is allowed under Rule 16.1 only when both:
    The abnormal course condition is on the course (not out of bounds), and
    The ball is anywhere on the course, except in a penalty area (where the player’s only relief is under Rule 17).
    Rule 17.1b Player May Play Ball as It Lies in Penalty Area or Take Penalty Relief

    The player may either:
    Play the ball as it lies without penalty, under the same Rules that apply to a ball in the general area (which means there are no specific Rules limiting how a ball may be played from a penalty area), or
    Play a ball from outside the penalty area by taking penalty relief under Rule 17.1d or 17.2.

  • #347

    David (Wednesday, 26 May 2021 00:59)

    My ball was in a red stake hazard and playable but I had to stand on a big water bubble were the ground is soft what is the rule

  • #346

    Jack (Saturday, 22 May 2021 19:46)

    Ref #345
    Please excuse my delay in replying to your question Steve.

    Casual water is defined as an "Abnormal Course Condition" and relief is available under Rule 16.1a if :-
    - The player’s ball touches or is in or on an abnormal course condition,
    - An abnormal course condition physically interferes with the player’s area of intended stance or area of intended swing
    Rule 14.3b - Ball Must Be Dropped in Right Way
    The player must drop a ball in the right way, which means all three of these things:
    (1) Player Must Drop Ball. The ball must be dropped only by the player. Neither the player’s caddie nor anyone else may do so.
    (2) Ball Must Be Dropped Straight Down from Knee Height Without Touching Player or Equipment. The player must let go of the ball from a location at knee height so that the ball:
    Falls straight down, without the player throwing, spinning or rolling it or using any other motion that might affect where the ball will come to rest, and
    Does not touch any part of the player’s body or equipment before it hits the ground.

    I hope this answers your question Steve.
    Refer to Rule 14 for more infomation on taking relief.

  • #345

    Steve (Wednesday, 19 May 2021 08:43)

    Hi Jack,

    Casual or temporary water. When the nearest dry spot is found no closer to the hole do I simply drop the ball from knee height having taken full relief? Or, do I find the nearest point no closer to the hole having taken full relief and put a tee in the ground and then drop from knee within one clubs length?

  • #344

    Jack (Tuesday, 18 May 2021 19:38)

    Ref #343
    Sorry Dianne, I cannot anwer your question as it doesn't come under Rules of Golf.

    This should come under the Dot Golf handicap system as it applies in your area, or your Ladies Competiion rules.

    I suggest you contact your local golf administration.

  • #343

    Dianne Blair (Tuesday, 18 May 2021 17:28)

    Ladies are playing a championship can you have 2 ladies on a 21 handicap play in A grade and 2 off 21 handicap play in B grade. Just to make even numbers in division

  • #342

    Jack (Tuesday, 11 May 2021 03:56)

    Ref #341
    That was interesting Steve as I was refereeing last weekend at our PGA National Championship and that same Local Rule was in force.

    We were issued with, what they call the "Hard Card", which lists a number of Local Rules that will apply to all PGA competitions.

    P.S. Rory made a great recovery! Cheers, Jack

  • #341

    Steve (Monday, 10 May 2021 07:22)

    Hi Jack, re #340. I should have waited, the commentators just said a local rule applied this week that stated if it went in to the penalty area on the left they must play it form the left. Cheers, Steve.

  • #340

    Steve (Monday, 10 May 2021 07:17)

    Hi Jack. On the 18th at the Wells Fargo, Rory hit his ball into the penalty area where the creek runs parallel to the fairway. He took a drop out of the penalty area on the left side of the creek. As it is a lateral hazard could he have taken a point opposite side of the creek no closer to the hole?

  • #339

    Jack (Thursday, 06 May 2021 22:36)

    Ref #338
    To answer your question Elliot please refer to the following:-

    Rule 10.2b(1) - Pointing Out Line of Play for Ball Anywhere Except on Putting Green.
    A player may have his or her line of play pointed out by:
    - Having an object (such as a bag or towel) set down on the course to show the line of play, but the object must be removed before the stroke is made.

    Rule 10.2b(3) - No Setting Down Object to Help in Taking Stance.
    - A player must not take a stance for the stroke using any object that was set down by or for the player to help in lining up his or her feet or body, such as a club set down on the ground to show the line of play.
    If the player takes a stance in breach of this Rule, he or she cannot avoid penalty by backing away from the stance and removing the object.

    Penalty for Breach of Rule 10.2: General Penalty.

    Don't mark your line of play with any object on the ground Elliot or you'll be penalised. Jack

  • #338

    E (Wednesday, 05 May 2021 19:17)

    Hi Jack

    I was wondering if it is permissible to use chalk/grass clipping/tee or suchlike as a reference point for standard strokes or would it be considered a training aid?   Ie a chalk dot or grass clipping 6 inches in front of the ball, or a tee 6 inches in front (but wide as so no contact through stroke) 

    Hope that makes sense

    Kind Regards


  • #337

    Jack (Friday, 30 April 2021 22:24)

    Ref #34
    To answer your question Rick, we need to look at two Rules depending whether you are playing Stroke or Match Play.

    Match Play - Rule 9.5b - Penalty for Lifting or Deliberately Touching Ball or Causing It to Move

    If the opponent lifts or deliberately touches the player’s ball at rest or causes it to move, the opponent gets one penalty stroke.

    Stroke Play - Rule 9.6 -
    Ball Lifted or Moved by Outside Influence

    If it is known or virtually certain that an outside influence (including another player in stroke play or another ball) lifted or moved a player’s ball:
    There is no penalty, and
    The ball must be replaced on its original spot (which if not known must be estimated).

    On the matter of identifying a ball, the first line of
    Rule 7.2 - How to Identify Ball
    "A player’s ball at rest may be identified in any one of these ways:

    " By the player or anyone else seeing a ball come to rest in circumstances where it is known to be the player’s ball."

    So Rick, your friend's bad habit gets a penalty in Match Play, but nothing in Stroke Play.
    Tell him how he annoys you with his actions.

  • #336

    Jack (Friday, 30 April 2021 21:37)

    Ref #333
    Hi Edwina
    I had this same question recently from Cathy - See #312
    and my reply #315.

    Your in the penalty!!

    Regards, Jack

  • #335

    Jack (Friday, 30 April 2021 21:28)

    Ref #332
    Sorry for my late reply Pat. I am refereeing at PGA tournament this weekend.

    Returning score cards is covered in Rule 3.3b(2) :-
    Player’s Responsibility: Certifying Hole Scores and Returning Scorecard.
    During the round, the player should keep track of his or her scores for each hole.
    When the round has ended, the player:

    Should carefully check the hole scores entered by the marker and raise any issues with the Committee,
    Must make sure that the marker certifies the hole scores on the scorecard,
    Must not change a hole score entered by the marker except with the marker's agreement or the Committee's approval, and
    Must certify the hole scores on the scorecard and promptly return it to the Committee, after which the player must not change the scorecard.

    If the player breaches any of these requirements in Rule 3.3b, the player is disqualified.

    To maintain the integrity of the WHS it is important to return all cards - good or bad.
    When you are out on the course to practice, you should
    not print a card as any scores would be incorrect when playing extra balls.

  • #334

    Rick (Thursday, 29 April 2021 03:32)

    Jack - someone I play with often has a habit of checking whether a ball at rest on the fairway is mine by moving it with his fingers backwards and forwards to 'check' the marking. This even if I know it is my ball, and he knows where his ball is. He says he can do this as the ball is returned to its original spot. I say he shouldn't move my ball at all, unless he thought he was moving his own and not mine. My understanding of the rules about identifying a ball is that it is 'the player' - i.e. the owner of that ball - who is entitled where necessary to lift a ball and not another person.

  • #333

    Edwina (Wednesday, 28 April 2021 22:33)

    Hi Jack,

    My ball was on the green and I went behind the green to help one of my playing partners find her ball. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to me, another playing partner hit her ball on to the green and hit my ball. She marked where my ball had been originally, putted out then went to help look for the lost ball. I came back to finish the hole and putted in from where my ball lay. I then asked the other playing partner to finish the hole as we’d run out of time and she responded that she had and the marker on the green was where my ball had been. I had no idea my ball had been moved. Do I have to take a penalty? I believe 9.2 says you have to be virtually certain it has moved - I was completely unaware that it had! It was further from the hole so no advantage to me.