If you would like to make a comment or ask Jack about the Rules of Golf, please provide your name (First name will do) and question, then click SEND. Jack will respond on this page.
Yahya Osman (Monday, 21 September 2020 09:42)
I had a situation in match play where i was on the putting green with my opponent in one yard who was putting the same number of shots with my partner
I unintentionally moved hes ball thinking lt was Mine As our balls where with in one meter and i was out with shots on that whole
Due to that they gave us a lost of hole?we won the hole oponent triple putted and my partner putted twice
Whats the ruling?
Jack (Sunday, 20 September 2020 19:32)
When taking relief under this local rule Curtis, the normal procedure applies. Refer to Rule 14.3.
That is that you find your nearest point of relief where the sprinkler head does not interfere with your line of play. You must drop your ball within one club-length of that point (not nearer the
hole). If your ball rolls outside that drop area, you drop a second time, if it rolls out again, you place it where you last dropped.
The ball is now "in play".
No more running away 15 feet!! Good luck.
Jack (Sunday, 20 September 2020 19:16)
To answer your question Mike, I will quote the wording in Rule 4.1a(3) which reads:-
" Deliberately Changing Club’s Performance Characteristics During Round.
"A player must not make a stroke with a club whose performance characteristics he or she deliberately changed during the round..........."
"By applying any substance to the clubhead (other than in cleaning it) to affect how it performs in making a stroke."
Wiping your club on the ground is a common method of cleaning while playing the game so, if that is all you are doing, I cannot see any violation of the Rules.
CURTIS (Saturday, 19 September 2020 05:30)
LOCAL RULE PROVIDES A FREE DROP IF A SPRINKLER HEAD WITHIN A METER OF A GREEN INTERFERES WITH THE PUTTING LINE. GREEN IN QUESTION IS A CROWN GREEN. DROPPING NEXT TO SPRINKLER HEAD RESULTS IN BALL
ROLLING DOWN SOME 10 TO 15 FT. IS ANOTHER DROP AND EVENTUALLY PLACEMENT ALLOWED?
Mike Charvat (Thursday, 17 September 2020 20:52)
I notice early in the morning when my driver has dew on it, I hit the ball straighter. Would intentionally wiping the face of my club on the wet ground be considered a rules violation?
ian (Thursday, 17 September 2020 05:57)
Jack thanks for the ruling. He did play the ball before the original ball was found.
Jack (Wednesday, 16 September 2020 22:56)
Interesting situation Ian but you didn't give me quite enough information to fully answer the question.
When you said "the player takes relief", I assume he dropped a ball BUT did he play it BEFORE his original ball was found?
Under Rules 14.4 & 14.5 if he had dropped a ball and the first ball was found before he played it, he could have corrected the mistake.
If he had played the dropped ball, then that became the ball in play including the penalty stroke for relief from the Red Penalty Area (no longer called Lateral Water Hazard!) and the original ball
no longer counts.
You should read these two Rules as they are very detailed.
Jack (Wednesday, 16 September 2020 18:08)
Your question is easily answered by 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) (see Rule 14.2).
So Ball A, is replaced where it was on the fairway, and Ball B is played from where it lies.
Stephe, it is important to understand the Definition of "Outside Inflence" -
"Any of these people or things that can affect what happens to a player’s ball or equipment or to the course:
Any person (including another player), except the player or his or her caddie or the player’s partner or opponent or any of their caddies,
Any animal, and
Any natural or artificial object or anything else (including another ball in motion), except for natural forces."
Jack (Wednesday, 16 September 2020 17:48)
Sorry Mark, no practising while playing a hole.
Rule 5.5a :-
"No Practice Strokes While Playing Hole"
While playing a hole, a player must not make a practice stroke at any ball on or off the course.
These are not practice strokes:
- A practice swing made with no intent to strike a ball.
- Hitting a ball back to a practice area or to another player, when done solely as a courtesy.
Rule 5.5b also restricts practise between holes:-
"Between two holes, a player must not make a practice stroke."
Exception – The player may practise putting or chipping on or near:
The putting green of the hole just completed and any practice green (see Rule 13.1e), and
The teeing area of the next hole.
But such practice strokes must not be made from a bunker and must not unreasonably delay play (see Rule 5.6a).
Ian (Tuesday, 15 September 2020 14:51)
Player A hits a shot toward a lateral water hazard marked with red stakes. The players all agree (known or virtually certain) that the ball went into the hazard and under Rule 17.1d the player takes
After taking relief the original ball was found in the general area outside of the penalty area by the players playing ahead. What is the ruling?
Stephe (Tuesday, 15 September 2020 09:09)
If you could help resolve a dispute that was raised yesterday regarding a players ball striking another players ball.
Ball A (the other players ball) was on the fairway, not on the putting surface. Ball B was on the fairway. Ball B was hit towards the green and strikes Ball A. Ball A is advanced onto the green and
Ball B remains on the fairway.
The dispute is, does Ball A stay on the green we’re it now lies or is it places back on the fairway?
Mark (Monday, 14 September 2020 08:21)
Can a player hit a practice ball after hitting his original ball on to the green
Jack (Thursday, 10 September 2020 22:16)
You are perfectly allowed to ground you putter in front of the ball on the putting green Rob.
Rule 8.1b = Actions That Are Allowed
Lists eleven actions that a player can take in preparing to play or making a stroke.
Item (4) reads:-
Ground the club lightly right in front of or right behind the ball.
But this does not allow:
Pressing the club on the ground, or
When a ball is in a bunker, touching the sand right in front of or right behind the ball (see Rule 12.2b(1)).
Jack (Thursday, 10 September 2020 21:58)
Having looked for the ball for "just over 3 minutes" means that the ball was LOST.
See Definition of LOST in the Rules of Golf :
"The status of a ball that is not found in three minutes after the player or his or her caddie (or the player’s partner or partner’s caddie) begins to search for it."
The player who went back to play a "provisional" was in fact, playing another ball under Stroke and Distance Rule 14.6a - "Previous Stroke Made from Teeing Area"
"The original ball or another ball must be played from anywhere inside the teeing area (and may be teed) under Rule 6.2b"
By finding the "Lost" ball and then finishing the hole with that ball, you are penalised in breach of Rule 6.3c(1) : General Penalty -
(Loss of hole in match play or two penalty strokes in stroke play.)
If you were playing Stroke Play, Rule 6.3c also reads:-
"If the player does not correct the mistake before making a stroke to begin another hole or, for the final hole of the round, before returning his or her scorecard, the player is disqualified."
That means both players in foursomes. As you can see Dave, it is a serious offence !!
Jack (Thursday, 10 September 2020 20:17)
Ref #176 & 187
Firstly my apologies for the late reply.
Match Play - See 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.
But there are several exceptions:
Exception 1 – Opponent Allowed to Lift Player’s Ball: There is no penalty when the opponent lifts the ball:
When conceding a stroke, a hole or the match to the player, or
At the player’s request.
Exception 2 – Marking and Lifting Player’s Ball on Putting Green by Mistake: There is no penalty when the opponent marks the spot of the player’s ball and lifts it on the putting green in the
mistaken belief that it is the opponent's own ball.
Stroke Play - See 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) (see Rule 14.2).
Now the question about the moved ball and where to putt from - this is answered in the Official Guide Reference 9.6/3 as follows:-
Player Learns That Ball Moved After Stroke Made
If it is not known or virtually certain that the player's ball has been moved by an outside influence, the player must play the ball as it lies. If information that the ball was in fact moved by an
outside influence only becomes known to the player after the ball has been played, the player did not play from a wrong place because this knowledge did not exist when the player made the
A long answer which I hope clarifies the situation.
Ann (Tuesday, 08 September 2020 19:19)
My Question is the similar to Ron's # 176
In an individual stroke round a player marks another player's ball on the putting green without authorisation. Rule 14.1b states authorisation is required but no mention of the penalty for the
Ed (Monday, 07 September 2020 20:59)
Thanks for your August 18th answer
dave (Monday, 07 September 2020 04:57)
playing foursomes both teams have driven off and one drive went into bushes.we looked for the ball for just over 3 minutes and the partner of the player who hit his drive into bushes then went back
to tee to hit a provisional ball,having driven off moments later his partner found his ball and they carried on playing with the "lost" ball.what are the rules regarding this once the ball has been
declared lost and search time has elapsed.
Rob (Sunday, 06 September 2020 20:44)
I like to place my putter ahead of the ball to help line up my putt and makes it easier for me to pick my spot to follow through towards. Is this illegal? Technically i'm delicately placing my putter
briefly in my line. I don't see how it is any different from players when they pat down the greens with their putters to improve their line.
Jack (Saturday, 05 September 2020 17:27)
Yes Barbara, in Stroke Play the 2-stroke penalty still applies when a player plays a wrong ball.
In Match Play, the penalty is Loss-of-Hole.
This is now called the "General Penalty".
Refer to Rule 6.3c Wrong Ball in the Rules of Golf
Barbara Sands (Friday, 04 September 2020 23:00)
Under the new rules of golf is it still a 2 stroke penalty for hitting a wrong ball ....
Linda (Thursday, 03 September 2020 21:39)
Thank you for your response Jack.
Battenburg is played a few times a year as a fun competition at our club in Slinfold, England. This can be a fun mixed event.
Jack (Tuesday, 01 September 2020 21:32)
Hi Fred, it is a pity you had not read Rule 7.4.
The part that answers your question ia as follows:-
"Ball Accidentally Moved in Trying to Find or Identify It
There is no penalty if the player’s ball is accidentally moved by the player, opponent or anyone else while trying to find or identify it.
"If this happens, the ball must be replaced on its original spot (which if not known must be estimated) (see Rule 14.2).
Something to remember for next time!
Jack (Tuesday, 01 September 2020 21:23)
I am not familiar with Battenburg golf Linda, but I understand it is a Stableford competition. However there must be rules for this competition that I have never seen.
Being Stableford, the results are based on the number of stableford points per hole and the total points at the end of the round. Being based on Stroke Play, the other team members who teed off the
wrong tee would each be subject to a 2-stroke penalty - Rule 14.7
Unless there is a Local Rule to the contrary, scoring zero for that hole would appear correct as, if they corrected the error, it would be unlikely that they could produce a better score.
Where do you play Battenburg and is it a regular competition? Regards, Jack
Fred (Tuesday, 01 September 2020 01:58)
Another player located my lost ball by inadvertently standing on it in the thick grass. It is therefore likely the ball was pressed deeper into the grass/soil (but not provable). I therefore thought
it best to play it as it lied, which probably disadvantaged me. Could I though have lifted and dropped instead? Thanks
Linda (Sunday, 30 August 2020 15:38)
When playing Battenburg the other team teed off from wrong tees but did not correct the mistake and play from right tee just scored themselves zero for hole. Is this correct or should they be
Ron (Friday, 28 August 2020 00:37)
Further to Duane's question: another player marks my ball on the green without my knowledge and without my noticing his action. I then play my ball from where he had rolled my ball. Have I incurred a
penalty for playing from a wrong place? Does the other player incur a penalty for lifting/marking my ball without authorisation?
Jack (Thursday, 27 August 2020 03:41)
Thank you Duane for your questions and no problems with either.
1. - Rule 14.1b Who May Lift Ball
"The player’s ball may be lifted under the Rules only by:
The player, or Anyone the player authorizes, but such authorization must be given each time before the ball is lifted rather than given generally for the round."
"Exception – Caddie May Lift Player’s Ball on Putting Green Without Authorization."
2 - Rule 15.3b Ball Anywhere on Course Interfering with Play.
"Meaning of Interference by Another Player’s Ball. 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,
"Is on or close to the player’s line of play such that, given the intended stroke, there is a reasonable chance the player’s ball in motion could hit that ball, or
"Is close enough to distract the player in making the stroke.
"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......."
This clarifies that in both cases the answer is "Yes".
If you want to follow this up further Duane, go to a Rule book or R&A website and look up these Rules as there is quite a lot more to read.
Duane (Tuesday, 25 August 2020 14:33)
Can your caddie or teammate mark your ball on the green for you?
Off the green, your ball is interfering with my line. Can I ask you to mark your ball?
Bill (Tuesday, 25 August 2020 11:54)
Hi Jack. It is the third hole at Doon Golf in Kitchener/Waterloo, Ontario. A city owned public course.
Peter Lawrence (Tuesday, 25 August 2020 09:46)
My first ball we thought was OOB so I said and played a provisional ball. We looked in the OOB and didn’t find it so played my second shot of my provisional ball. 20 yards down the fairway and my
original ball was in play. I was told that was now deemed lost and therefore couldn’t play it. What is correct ruling please.
Jack (Sunday, 23 August 2020 18:15)
Thanks for your message Bill. It sounds like an interesting hole that is quite challenging.
If it is your home course, good luck when you play next time!
Where is the course?
Bill (Sunday, 23 August 2020 10:41)
I belive the reason for the drop area is from the blue tees to the white tee there is a pond and narrow opening. The reason I went off the drop area is the opening on each side of the white tee is
very narrow with overhanging tree and just past the red tees at the drop area it opens up to a wide fairway. Did not want to take the chance chance of hitting a branch again off white Tee. Also short
par four so not much advantage with a driver off Tee as still a second shot into green.
Jack (Saturday, 22 August 2020 18:42)
Sorry for the delay in replying Bill.
I find it difficult answering your question as I do not have enough information.
Why was there a drop area in front of the Red Tee? Normally this should be covered in the club's Local Rules which advises players why this area is marked and when it may be used.
You are correct that having dropped in the drop area you would be playing your 4th shot, but it might have been a better choice to replay from the white tee, also for the same score. See Rule 14.6a.
Bill (Wednesday, 19 August 2020 11:47)
Plying off the white T and hit a ball only a few feet into rough marked with red stake even before the forward red T box. Found my ball. There is a drop area in front ot the red T box. I played my
second shot off the the drop area. I am hitting 3 from the drop area. Should I have played where I went in or was it OK to advance a bit to the drop area?
Jon (Wednesday, 19 August 2020 11:01)
Jack (Tuesday, 18 August 2020 19:49)
No Jon, your tee is NOT allowed!
Rule 10.2b Other Help :-
(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.
Jack (Tuesday, 18 August 2020 19:32)
Interesting situation Ed, which is covered in Rule 20.1b:-
Rules Issues in Match Play
(1) Deciding Issues by Agreement. During a round, the players in a match may agree how to decide a Rules issue:
The agreed outcome is conclusive even if it turns out to have been wrong under the Rules, so long as the players did not deliberately agree to ignore any Rule or penalty they knew applied (see Rule
By applying the two-stroke penalty instead of loss-of-hole, player (A) would still have won the match 2 up. Making no difference to the match result - a Win.
Jon (Monday, 17 August 2020 17:41)
Can an object, such as a tee, be placed in front of the ball for alignment on the tee area?
Ed (Sunday, 16 August 2020 16:20)
Match play: player (A) hits wrong ball. Opponent says" is there a penalty for that?" player (A) says "yes, 2 stokes". With the penalty, the hole is tied. Player (A) wins match 3 up (cards are signed)
and after the round finds out he made a mistake - it should have been loss of hole. What happens?
Jack (Thursday, 13 August 2020 19:02)
The following should answer your question Martyn.
Rule 17.1b reads -
"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
Play a ball from outside the penalty area by taking penalty relief under Rule 17.1d or 17.2."
In the first paragraph it clarifies that playing a ball from a Penalty Area is covered by the same Rules as in the General Area.
You were therefore subject to the General Penalty for Playing a Wrong Ball in Breach of Rule 6.3c(1)
Loss of hole in match play or two penalty strokes in stroke play.
Jack (Thursday, 13 August 2020 18:32)
The definition of a Stroke is as follows:-
"The forward movement of the club made to strike the ball.
But a stroke has not been made if the player:
Decides during the downswing not to strike the ball and avoids doing so by deliberately stopping the clubhead before it reaches the ball or, if unable to stop, by deliberately missing the ball.
Accidentally strikes the ball when making a practice swing or while preparing to make a stroke."
So no problem John - no penalty. Just clean your club and ball and start again!!
It is not a stroke unless you "intend" to strike a ball.
Martyn (Thursday, 13 August 2020 13:14)
I played a wrong ball out of a penalty area upon realising my mistake I went back and played my original ball what is the correct play or is it a penalty for playing a wrong ball from a penalty area
john Frehner (Wednesday, 12 August 2020 02:52)
I had a practice swing and some mud flew up and knocked my ball off the tee BUT it remained within the designated tee ground.I had not addressed the ball either.I assumed no penalty as the ball
remained within the tee area.Hopefully I was correct?
Jack (Sunday, 02 August 2020 20:25)
To begin Mat, I must ask you to refer to the section of the Rules book - ‘Definitions”.
In your question you use the term “alternative cup” which, in the Rules, falls into the Definition “Ground Under Repair” – Any hole made by ……….the maintenance staff setting up the course.
Then read Rule 16. “Purpose of Rule” - These conditions are not treated as part of the challenge of playing the course, and free relief is generally allowed except in a penalty area.
Also Read Rule 11. “ Purpose of Rule” - Rule 11 covers what to do if the player’s ball in motion hits a person, animal, equipment or anything else on the course. When this happens accidentally, there
is no penalty and the player normally must accept the result, whether favourable or not, and play the ball from where it comes to rest.
Your comment “Rub of the Green” is correct in this instance. Take an example of your ball striking a tree in GUR and the ball comes back into the fairway. You cannot pick it up and play again, and
you wouldn’t want to either!
I hope this answer clarifies your situation. Cheers
Mat (Sunday, 02 August 2020 02:51)
Another tough one for you Jack… I'm really hoping you can point to a decision or reference here.
We were playing today on a course where they keep two cups on the greens. I assume it lets them swap locations quickly, but once in a while, it becomes a problem. Now, we know that we get relief from
the line if on the green, but this question is about the hole when the ball is in play.
My understanding is that if the ball is affected by an alternative cup, the player has the right to cancel the shot and replay from the same position. This makes sense since it shouldn't be there.
However it's been brought up that it's "rub of the green" and that if it were to come to rest in the cup, it's an "abnormal condition", and you have to pull it out, take a few inches of relief, and
the shot counts always.
Can you clarify this one? Even the long-timers at my club are having issues with this, and we need a definitive decision… and every search online is coming up empty.
Jack (Sunday, 26 July 2020 18:44)
From your description, I guess you assumed the tee on the green was marking the correct position of your ball and had been placed there by your fellow competitor.
If this was the case, the following Rule applies:-
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) (see Rule 14.2).
You don't say where you placed your ball but the last sentence above should have been your action.
bsimpson (Sunday, 26 July 2020 05:33)
playing in a medal my ball landed within five feet of the hole in walking past the green
i thought it was a good shot, in taking my putter out with my back to the green i then
turned to the green and approach my ball and and in doing so i saw a tee thinking my ball was being in the way of my fellow players with this i picked my ball up to move to what i thought was my ball
position not seeing my follow player putting from the fringe and marking is ball whats the penalty
Jack (Saturday, 25 July 2020 19:03)
You were right Conail. Your playing partner had no right to drop another ball as there was no Local Rule allowing such a drop. In the 2019 Rules, there is a Local Rule available that does allow such
relief with a 2-stroke penalty, but it must be posted on the Local Rules of the club.
Quite simply, the player's ball was lost as it was not found within three minutes, and he should have returned to the tee and played his third from there.
It might have been different if his first ball 'might' have been in a penalty area, but you make no mention of that. (Rule 17)
When you all saw his first ball land, that is when the player should have played a Provisional Ball (Rule 18.3) to save the time of returning to the tee.
Finally, the player should not have recorded a bogey as the score. If you read Rules 14.7a & b - Playing from a Wrong Place - his was a serious breach and as he didn't correct it before beginning
another hole, he would have been disqualified.
A long answer Conail, but it shows how it helps if players have some basic knowledge of the Rules!!
Conail. (Friday, 24 July 2020 13:06)
During our weekly medal my playing partner hits his ball off the tee and its final trajectory was obscured by a tree, so none of the 3 of use seen it land. When we went to look for it we could not
find it and my playing partner claimed it was embedded in the ground and he should be allowed to get a free drop, i.e. place another ball where he expected his ball to land without penalty. I
disagreed as none of us saw his ball "plug", he dropped one anyway and went onto register a bogey.
The ball in my opinion would not have hit the fairway but instead the semi rough and could have possibly have carried on into the rough. Again none of us saw his ball hit the ground.
There is no "local" rule in place saying that he could drop another ball without penalty.
Was he right to drop another ball without a penalty?
Linda (Friday, 17 July 2020 04:19)
Thanks, yes, in NZ.
Jack (Friday, 17 July 2020 03:48)
Reading your question Linda, I assume you are playing this match in New Zealand.
In NZ Women's golf, when playing a match against another player in the same division any handicap difference is not considered and the match is played "Off the Stick".
If you are playing in another country, the format may be different as your question is covered under domestic rules and is not covered in the Rules of Golf.
Linda (Thursday, 16 July 2020 16:51)
I am playing a match play competition against a player in the same division, bronze, but who has a WHS handicap at 5 below mine. I just assumed that I would still be allowed 5 strokes on 5 most
difficult rated holes but apparently there are no concessions, and we are the same off the stick.
Is that normal/usual u this format?
Paul (Monday, 13 July 2020 00:46)
Jack (Sunday, 12 July 2020 20:15)
This is a situation where players should always advise fellow competitors if they have caused a ball to move.
Rule 9.6 reads:-
" 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) (see Rule 14.2)."
However, as Steve was not told about the movement, he cannot be penalised, but if Paul told him before they teed off the next hole, you must refer to
Rule 14.7b - How to Complete a Hole after Playing from Wrong Place in Stroke Play.
"(1) Player Must Decide Whether to Play Out Hole with Ball Played from Wrong Place or to Correct the Mistake by Playing from Right Place. What a player does next depends on whether it was a serious
breach – that is, whether the player could have gained a significant advantage by playing from a wrong place:
Not a Serious Breach. The player must play out the hole with the ball played from a wrong place, without correcting the mistake."
From your description Paul, I would classify this as Not Serious.
Hope this answers your question Paul. Cheers. Jack
Paul (Friday, 10 July 2020 12:58)
Steve plays his ball onto green the ball is in the way of Paul’s chip so Paul marks steves ball and rolls the ball to one side Paul then chips close and putts out and leaves green without telling
Steve he’d marked and moved his ball , Steve played from wrong position and holed out. Paul realised what had happened before they teed off next hole �what is the ruling
Paul(the same Paul) ��
Jack (Thursday, 09 July 2020 19:29)
The number of balls in the hole is only limited by the definition of "Holed" in the Rules - as follows:-
"When a ball is at rest in the hole after a stroke and the entire ball is below the surface of the putting green."
I haven't tried it Paul, but I would guess that two of the balls would meet the definition but the third one might
not be completely below the surface. If that was the case, the third ball should be placed on the side of the hole and putted again for another stroke!
In replying to your question, I have assumed that the flagstick had been removed from the hole. If not, the definition also includes the following:-
"For the special case of a ball resting against the flagstick in the hole, see Rule 13.2c (ball is treated as holed if any part of the ball is below the surface of the putting green)."
Paul (Wednesday, 08 July 2020 18:45)
Medal competition 3 people on 18th green 1st player putts in the hole 2nd player putts in the hole and so on all three balls are in the hole is this legal
Jack (Sunday, 05 July 2020 23:06)
When your ball struck your opponent's bag, two rules came into play:-
Rule 11.1a - "No Penalty to Any Player" and
Rule 11.1b - "Ball Must be Played as It Lies"
As your ball was then Out of Bounds :-
Rule 18.2 - "Stroke-and-Distance Relief Must be Taken".
In both cases you did the right thing Malcolm. Sounds like you have a good knowlege of the 2019 Rules - Congratulations!
Malcolm (Sunday, 05 July 2020 10:18)
Today my tee shot hit my opponents bag, the ball was diverted at right angles over an out of bounds wall.
The old rules say I could cancel the stroke and replay off the tee, but the new rules say I have to play the ball as it lies - though it was not possible to do so.
I played 3 off the tee, what was the correct thing to do ?
Neil (Friday, 03 July 2020 12:30)
Thank you Jack for your consideration to this matter �
The good news is that my friend won the match on the last hole �
Jack (Friday, 03 July 2020 04:18)
This was a hard question for me to answer Garry as I have never heard of a Texas Chipper!
Some years ago we had chippers, but these had double faces and were declared illegal. One Google page did show a double sided chipper with the word Texas, so if that is the club you're referring to,
it will be illegal in Canada - and worldwide.
Best wishes for a successful tournament this weekend.
Jack (Friday, 03 July 2020 03:53)
In your first incident Ray you are correct. When hitting a ball off the tee it can go anywhere - we've all done it - and you have to accept the result. There is no rule that allows a player to play
another ball without penalty. The ball 50 yards up the fairway, is the in play.
With the second incident again you are correct Ray. Rule 16 covers relief from an immovable obstruction and in this case as the immovable bin did not interfere with the player's stance or area of
intended swing, no relief applies.
Well done Ray, you should sit a Rules exam one day and qualify as a referee! Regards Jack
Jack (Friday, 03 July 2020 03:30)
Reading your description Neil, your friend did everything correctly and with a 10 foot putt to the hole, there is no way a claim could be made of "testing the green" when the ball rolled only 3
Your friend's opponent was stretching the meaning and in my opinion no penalty should have been applied.
Garry tuckey (Wednesday, 01 July 2020 21:49)
In tournament this weekend at Whitehorse yukon,canada. Need to know if a Texas chipper is legal in canada please
Ray (Wednesday, 01 July 2020 17:02)
2 incidents from one round yesterday.
My playing partner teed his ball very close to the tee marker and the ball actually hit the marker when he played his shot, it ricocheted 50 yards up the fairway. He said he was allowed to retake the
shot without penalty, I said he should play his 2nd shot from where it landed. Who was right?
Later in the round he hit an approach shot wide of the green and it landed in the teeing area of the next hole, an immovable bin was about 3ft away and directly in his line towards the pin. He
insisted he got free relief and I thought, tough luck, play it as it is in a different direction (stance was not an issue)
Once again your opinion please.
Neil (Wednesday, 01 July 2020 13:05)
A friend of mine was on the fourth hole , par three at Aspley and he was on the green when an insect flew and landed on his ball some 10 foot away from the hole . he marked his ball and used his club
to distract the insect , in so doing he caught the ball and it rolled 3 inches , he replaced the ball took the putt and got himself a birdie . He was in a competition and his competitor accused him
of testing the green and declared a foul shot which made a par so they halfed the hole .
What do you think ??
Jack (Sunday, 28 June 2020 19:32)
Interesting situation Graham as one would normally stop their swing when the ball falls off the tee.
Rule 9.1b reads "If a player’s ball at rest begins moving after the player has begun the stroke or the backswing for a stroke and the player goes on to make the stroke:
"The ball must not be replaced, no matter what caused it to move. Instead, the player must play the ball from where it comes to rest after the stroke."
What caused the ball to move should be decided and this is explained under Rule 9.2b(2) . As your ball was not in play and on the tee, it is treated as having been moved by natural forces and no
penalty would apply.
Jack (Sunday, 28 June 2020 18:50)
Sorry Mat, the ruling you were given was correct.
Rule 6.3c(1) - "Making Stroke at Wrong Ball. A player must not make a stroke at a wrong ball."
"Penalty for Playing Wrong Ball in Breach of Rule 6.3c(1): General Penalty." Which in Match Play is Loss of Hole.
P2 had only one ball in play and hitting any other ball results in him/her receiving the penalty.
Graham Tallman (Sunday, 28 June 2020 10:56)
On the tee today and on my downswing the ball dropped off the tee and rolled toward me. Somehow managed to get good contact (ball was still moving) and hit decent shot. Is it a penalty if the ball is
in motion when hitting off the tee?
Mat (Sunday, 28 June 2020 05:02)
Hi Jack, I have another one for you. Happened to a playing partner. It's a bit involved, but it breaks down like this… importantly, it's Match Play:
P1: Hits near OB, can't see.
P2: In Play
P1: Finds ball inbounds, plays out, and a third.
P2: Second shot - but realises ball played was the provisional from P1.
Now notwithstanding the fact that P1 stood over P2's ball, obscuring it, P2 has played a wrong ball. The hole was awarded to P1 at that point, but I was under the impression that this only happened
when you played the opponents in-play ball, not the provisional already declared out of play. Should this have just been a 1-stroke penalty, and P2 plays own ball?
Jack (Thursday, 18 June 2020 04:00)
Hazard stakes are covered in the Definitions part of the Rule Book under "Obstruction" and are defined as Movable Obstructions.
Rule 15.2a(1) "Relief from Movable Obstruction" allows you to remove a stake without penalty, anywhere on or off the course. The only exception being that the committee may issue a Local Rule
defining certain penalty stakes as Temporary Immovable Obstructions.
This means Tom that it is important to check the Local Rules at the course you are playing BEFORE starting your round.
Tom (Wednesday, 17 June 2020 09:38)
can you move a hazard stake if it interferes with your swing or the possible flight of your ball
Jack (Sunday, 14 June 2020 18:46)
This is a straight forward question Bill.
The player's hat is defined as an "Outside Agency" in the Rules, and because it stopped the movement of the player's ball, Rule 9.6 "Ball lifted or moved by Outside Agency" is the reference.
There is no penalty and the ball must be replaced on it's original spot and replayed.
Bill (Saturday, 13 June 2020 09:13)
Another weird one. Friday was a windy day with some heavy wind gusts. Member of our foursome is downwind on the green putting a 20 footer wearing a wide brimmed hat. Just as he putts a gust of wind
blows his hat off and it beats his ball to hole... hits the pin and comes to rest just behind the pin. He misses the put but his ball hits his hat just behind the pin and instead of rolling well past
the hole. He is now only left with a tap in put. ?
Jack (Thursday, 04 June 2020 00:43)
From your description Wayne, I would define the area marked with red stakes, as a Red Penalty Area.
If you refer to Rule 17.1d this defines the relief available if your ball is in this area. The fact that it is under construction and no entry allowed will mean that you have lost your ball!
Wayne (Monday, 01 June 2020 01:56)
Water hazard being constructed but not yet finished between two holes. Sign on one side says that it is a construction site, sign on the other side says the area is closed for repairs. Also, the area
is staked with RED stakes and entry has been prohibited. Is this are a hazard or GUR?
Jack (Monday, 25 May 2020 04:10)
Good to hear back from you Bill. Being stroke play, this is a very different picture from the last querie.
As your ball was not found within three minutes it was lost and you were in for a 2-stroke penalty either returning to the tee to play another ball under "stroke and distance", or if the 2019 Local
Rule for ball lost was available at the course, drop another ball, as you did, on the fairway for a 2-stroke penalty.
However, the player who played your ball in error is in trouble. He cannot continue play with your ball and has to return to where his ball might have been and put another ball into play with a
2-stroke penalty on top of the 2-stroke he already incurred from playing the wrong ball. (Your ball).(Rule 6.3c(1))
Having taken only the one penalty, this player will have returned an incorrect score for the hole and under Rule 3.3b(3) he is disqualified. He could have avoided the DQ if he had corrected the
mistake before playing a stroke from the next hole. (Rule 3.3c)
If this round was part of a competition, the player should report this to your committee for their decision.
I hope this answer is clear Bill. You should refer to The Rules of Golf and read the Rule numbers quoted. Cheers!
Jack (Sunday, 24 May 2020 19:54)
Sorry Mat, there is no Rule of Golf that gives you relief from a surprise noise, also no free replay either. You can replay but that is stroke and distance which adds to your score!
Nice place CHCH. Waitikiri was my home course many years ago.
Jack (Sunday, 24 May 2020 18:21)
Several things are wrong with your senario off the 1st tee!
Rule 5.2 States "Practising on the Course" means playing A ball............. So "a" ball is very different from your 3 or 4 balls. A minor point that could be raised on the 1st tee of a match.
Your in a match play event and I doubt if the fairway would be free of the group in front.
I would expect your opponent to complain about your behaviour and it is certainly not in keeping with the Conduct Expected of Players (Rule 1.2)
Fred (Sunday, 24 May 2020 15:45)
Given that one can practice on the course prior to a match play event, how does this sound: I take 3 or 4 balls to the starting tee a couple of minutes prior to tee-off time and whack them down the
fairway to get my swing going comfortably. Then I drive my nominated 'real' ball at tee-off time. This may not sound fair, but legal or not? Thanks.
Mat (Sunday, 24 May 2020 03:12)
Hi Jack; from CHCH here. Wondering if someone yells nearby in a downswing, do you have any recourse? Had a situation where someone just beyond a hedge yelled at someone hard of hearing about to play
the wrong ball, and really put me off on the very close tee box. No hard feelings; it was not poor intention, but it was very startling. I played it out as-is, even though my group wanted me to
retake it. Thoughts?
Bill (Friday, 22 May 2020 19:18)
Thanks for your reply. It was stroke play. I had hit a drive and it was difficult to determine where it landed. I was in a foursome. The other three claimed there balls. I had thought that mine had
landed in the frindge but as I walked toward a ball I thought could have been mine another player told me it was his ball and the other three proceeded helping me search for mine. My ball was not
found. Rather than going back to the T I dropped in the fairway and took a two stock penalty. The others hit their balls. When we were on the green two stokes later one of the other players said he
had made a mistake and had hit my ball when we thought it was lost. He took a two stoke penalty but so had I.
Jack`` (Thursday, 21 May 2020 19:59)
You haven't given me much detail about your game Bill, but from your question, I assume that if you had an opponent you were playing a match.
In match play, if a player plays a wrong ball, the penalty is Loss of Hole. Rule 6.3c(1)
If this was the case, you win the hole and head for the next tee. Message me again if things were different.
Bill (Wednesday, 20 May 2020 19:26)
An opponent hits your ball on a fairway and since you now can not find your ball you assume your ball is lost you play a new ball. Are you both penalized?
Jack (Sunday, 26 April 2020 01:00)
An interesting question Jonie.
When marking a ball on the green, various objects can be used, such as a coin, a tee, a small piece of equipment, or a specially made ball marker, all of which would make it hard to strike the ball
if not first removed!
However, Rule 14.1a reads as follows:-
"If the spot is marked with a ball-marker, after replacing the ball the player must remove the ball-marker before making a stroke.
"If the player lifts the ball without marking its spot, marks its spot in a wrong way or makes a stroke with a ball-marker left in place, the player gets one penalty stroke."
jonie (Thursday, 23 April 2020 02:58)
Todays scenario is .......On the putting green, a player marks her ball. She does not remove the marker before hitting her putt.
What is the ruling?
Jack (Wednesday, 08 April 2020 23:30)
Chris, I would expect any player, who climbs a tree to play his ball, to hold on to something when making his stroke. There is nothing in the Rules that prevents a player from playing with one hand,
in fact Rule 10.2b(5) Physical Help and Protection from Elements States "This Rule does not prohibit the player from taking his or her own actions to protect against the elements while making a
stroke, such as by wearing protective clothing or holding an umbrella over his or her own head."
I guess that the video you saw, was from a tournament somewhere, and you would have expected Garcia to have been penalised at the time, if it was against the Rules.
Chris (Tuesday, 07 April 2020 22:35)
Hi Jack just seen video of Sergio climbing tree to hit his ball as lodged between the branches.
He used one hand to hold onto tree while hitting the ball
My understanding is he should not be holding on while hitting the ball.
Jack (Monday, 16 March 2020 03:42)
Sorry Ray for my late reply to your question.
I can only reply generally as I have to imagine the area you describe with embedded stones.
The Local Rule wording at such a situation will state that relief is available if any stone interferes with your stance or area of intended play. You must then find your nearest point of relief and
drop your ball within one club-length of that spot, not nearer the hole.
There is no choice as to where you drop the ball except somewhere within the club-length. Now, if you are lucky and this point gives you relief from a tree, that is OK, but you might be unlucky and
you may have to drop behind a tree!!!
This should be worked out before to take the relief as it may be better to play the ball where it lies by the stones with no trees in the way.
I hope this explanation clears this issue for you Ray. Message me again if you need any more advicce.
Ray (Tuesday, 10 March 2020 22:51)
Hi Jack; we have a local rule at our golf club where we can take a free drop from embedded stones; my enterpretation of the rule is that we can only get a free drop if there is no interference from
anything else ; such as a tree or a bush in front or ajacent which would stop me from making my normal swing , too many times i have had players telling me they were lucky to be on stones and get a
free drop from behind trees ,,
Jack (Tuesday, 10 March 2020 21:18)
Ref #109 & 110
In your first question Paul, where the ball played from the penalty area comes to rest in the same penalty area, this is fully covered under Rule 17.2a. You can drop another ball at the same point
and take stroke-and- distance relief, or one of the other three options for relief from a red penalty area (Rule 17.1d).
Ref # 110 is a similar situation for a ball lost after playing from the penalty area and this is detailed under Rule 17.2b.
Paul you need to read all these Rules to fully answer all details. I hope you have access to a Rules of Golf book but if not go to:
Paul Sharples (Tuesday, 10 March 2020 01:36)
Taking my last query a bit further:-
Player hits ball into red penalty area. Ball is playable & he hits it. Ball hits tree outside penalty area and then cannot be found. What are players options & penalties ?
Paul Sharples (Tuesday, 10 March 2020 01:32)
Player hits ball into red penalty area. Ball is playable & he hits it. Ball stays in penalty area but now unplayable. What are players options & penalties ?
Jack (Sunday, 16 February 2020 16:50)
The definition of Four Ball Match Play is:-
"A form of play where sides of two partners compete, with each player playing his or her own ball. A side’s score for a hole is the lower score of the two partners on that hole."
The player who picks up his/her ball loses the hole being played, but the player's partner continues play and competes against the other players scores for the hole.
Dayle, I hope this answers your question clearly.
Dayle lucas (Sunday, 16 February 2020 00:04)
Hey Jack in a fourball match that is also playing single if one player picks up his ball what happens in fourball? Thanks
Jack (Tuesday, 11 February 2020 16:15)
Yes Ray, your opponent can ask that you mark your ball. I quote Rule 15.3a which applies only to a ball at rest on the putting green, not anywhere else on the course.
"If a player reasonably believes that a ball on the putting green might help anyone’s play (such as by serving as a possible backstop near the hole), the player may:
Mark the spot of the ball and lift it under Rule 13.1b if it is his or her own ball, or if the ball belongs to another player, require the other player to mark the spot and lift the ball (see Rule
The lifted ball must be replaced on its original spot (see Rule 14.2)."
If you were playing Stroke Play:
"A player who is required to lift a ball may play first instead."
Ray (Tuesday, 11 February 2020 01:38)
Hi Jack, if in matchplay my ball is on the green close to the flagstick,can my opponent insist that i mark my ball even though he is about to play his shot from 120 metres away,
Jack (Friday, 24 January 2020 02:31)
Rule 22 covers all the issues with the form of play called Foursomes and the Rules of Golf are essentially the same as for individual play except that the partners play out each hole with alternate
Any penalties incurred are included in the score of the hole being played whether it is match play or stroke play.
Rose, if you need any more information, please message me again.
Rose (Wednesday, 22 January 2020 19:50)
In a 4some do you add the penalty at the end of the hole .
Jack (Tuesday, 21 January 2020 02:20)
To answer your question fully Ray, we need more information as to why the caddy removed the flagstick when the ball was in motion.
Rule 13.2a(3) reads as follows - "The player and his or her caddie must not deliberately move or remove the flagstick to affect where the player’s ball in motion might come to rest (such as to avoid
having the ball hit the flagstick). If this is done, the player gets the general penalty.
"But there is no penalty if the player has the flagstick in the hole moved or removed for any other reason, such as when he or she reasonably believes that the ball in motion will not hit the
flagstick before coming to rest."
Only someone playing in that group can explain why the flagstick was removed and whether the player should have been penalised.
Hope that answers your question Ray.
Ray (Monday, 20 January 2020 21:35)
Ball played from off green to pin at speed to go past 3-4 yards. Player/caddy removes pin,ball goes past. Should pin have been removed?
Jack (Friday, 03 January 2020 01:29)
Thanks for your question Paul, and I think the best way to answer is to quote from the Rule Book which became effective January 2019.
"In match play, the order of play is fundamental; if a player plays out of turn, the opponent may cancel that stroke and make the player play again."
Rule 6.4a(2) - "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."
As the stroke played out of turn has been cancelled, he/she will have no ball in play and if they don't play another ball they will, of course, lose the hole!
Jack (Thursday, 02 January 2020 21:10)
From your description Paul, I am unclear if all the balls were on the green! But to answer your question I have assumed that all balls were on the green.
Player's ball on the green, he putts and strikes ball B. He only asked for ball A to be marked (which you did) so when he hit ball B, he incurs the General Penalty.
The fact that he had a bad putt and hit your ball B is his error and in no way can he pass any blame on to you.
(I hope I have understood your question correctly Paul.)
Paul Sharples (Thursday, 02 January 2020 04:02)
A player without the honor tees off first in Matchplay but refuses to replay his shot when asked to do so.
Please what is the ruling ?
Paul Orange (Tuesday, 31 December 2019 05:15)
Opponent to put from edge of green 30 feet away. Two balls within 8 feet of the green, 4 feet apart. He states he can't putt until ball A marked (my ball is ball B). So instead of marking my ball B I
mark ball A (player of ball A still walking to green) so opponent can putt ( under Ready Golf). He hits a poor putt 4 feet off line and hits my unmarked ball. Rather than taking 2 shot penalty, he
blames me for not carrying enough ball markers. Is this reasonable?
Jack (Thursday, 12 December 2019 02:10)
Ref # 94
Boundary Fences are classified as "Boundary Objects" Theuns, and you can read the details under "Definitions" in the Rule Book. As follows:-
Artificial objects defining or showing out of bounds, such as walls, fences, stakes and railings, from which free relief is not allowed.
This includes any base and post of a boundary fence, but does not include:
Angled supports or guy wires that are attached to a wall or fence, or
Any steps, bridge or similar construction used for getting over the wall or fence.
Boundary objects are treated as immovable even if they are movable or any part of them is movable (see Rule 8.1a).
Boundary objects are not obstructions or integral objects.
There is a lot more on this subject covered under Rule 8 and it is worthwhile reading it in full.
Jack (Wednesday, 11 December 2019 14:43)
This matter is clearly covered under Rule 6.3c(2).
"(2) What to Do When Player’s Ball Was Played by Another Player as Wrong Ball.
If it is known or virtually certain that the player’s ball was played by another player as a wrong ball, the player must replace the original ball or another ball on the original spot (which if not
known must be estimated)".
So Richard, that's how I proceed. You however, receive the General Penalty - Loss of Hole in Match Play / 2-stroke penalty in Stroke Play.
Theuns Scheepers (Wednesday, 11 December 2019 14:09)
Hi. I want to know if a player's swing is restricted by a border fence, does the player get a one club relief or does he get penalised and what is the reference to the R & A rule? The situation
was that someone tee'ed off, his ball came to rest near the border fence but within the golf course boundaries, the player is a right handed player and had no swing.
Richard (Wednesday, 11 December 2019 05:23)
If I hit your ball in error, how do you proceed?
Jack (Friday, 06 December 2019 20:02)
I cannot understand your playing partners's objection to your use of a glove finger to your injured finger. There is no Rule that prevents you using a golf glove on both hands therefore using part of
a glove is legal also.
Rule 4.3a(5) - " Gloves and Gripping Agents.
Allowed. - Using a plain glove that meets the requirements in the Equipment Rules.
Rule 4.3b(1) - Medical Exception. A player is not in breach of Rule 4.3 if he or she uses equipment to help with a medical condition, so long as:
The player has a medical reason to use the equipment, and The Committee decides that its use does not give the player any unfair advantage over other players.
Rule 4.3b(2) - Tape or Similar Coverings. A player may use adhesive tape or a similar covering for any medical reason but the tape or covering must not:
Be applied excessively, or Help the player more than is necessary for the medical reason (for example, it must not immobilize a joint to help the player swing the club).
Hope that answers your question Derek.
Derek Philipps (Thursday, 05 December 2019 19:05)
I recently went to play a round with a cut on my finger,to protect it I used a cut off piece off an old glove to protect my finger,(just on that finger)one of my playing partners stated that this was
illegal,can you please confirm if he is correct or not
Jack (Thursday, 28 November 2019 02:18)
Ginnie, your question is clearly answered under the following two Rules.
3.3b(1) 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.
3.3b(2) (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. Make sure that the marker certifies the hole scores on the scorecard, and must not change a hole
score entered by the marker. except with the marker's agreement.
Ginnie (Wednesday, 27 November 2019 00:02)
Is it a Rule of golf, that I am obligated to count my opponents strokes during a game, or is the responsibility theirs to do that and then tell me once the hole is completed? Thanks in advance.
Jack (Tuesday, 19 November 2019 01:26)
When you talk of "placing on course" Heather, I assume you are referring to "Preferred Lies" which is the official title for what we all call "Clean & Place".
Local Rules are the responsibility of the club committee who should clearly post them for all players to read before playing the course. Clean & Place is considered a Temporary Local Rule and
should be removed when course conditions do not require such relief.
The Match Committee of the day should decide when this Rule applies. For general play that would be the main Match Committee, but for special competition days or one-off competitions, the organising
committee makes the decision.
Heather (Monday, 18 November 2019 22:03)
Who,s responsibility to put placing on course
Jack (Saturday, 09 November 2019 16:09)
Good question Bari, but Rule 14.2b(1) clearly states:-
The player’s ball must be replaced under the Rules only by:
The player, or any person who lifted the ball or caused it to move (even if that person was not allowed to do so under the Rules).
If the player plays a ball that was replaced by someone not allowed to do so, the player gets one penalty stroke.
Applying that Rule to the second part of your question, only the player can replace a ball that does not stay on original spot.
Bari (Saturday, 09 November 2019 02:08)
Rule 14 explains about marking, lifting, cleaning ball. But nothing is in this Rule who may place the ball. Rule 10.3b(3) bullet 4 says, "Caddie is not allowed to drop and place a ball in relief
area". I come to a conclusion from this that only player is allowed to place a ball.
When a moved ball by a fellow player is replaced by him (fellow player) does not stay on the original spot after two tries, can he (fellow player) place the ball on the the nearest spot where the
ball will stay (Rule 14.2e).
Jack (Thursday, 07 November 2019 16:12)
This subject, as covered under Rule 14.1a, was discussed recently under the Local Rule - Preferred Lies. Although a player is not required to mark the spot before lifting the ball, it was pointed out
that it could be a problem locating the reference point after lifting and cleaning a ball. It was therefore "recommended" that the point should be marked thus ensuring that the relief area is clearly
As far as marking is concerned, as there is no fixed rule when dropping in a relief area, you can mark with any of the items you suggest Peter.
Jack (Thursday, 07 November 2019 15:18)
When you say "not levelled properly" I assume you are referring to damage on the putting green.
Under Rule 13.1c(2) - A player may repair damage on the putting green without penalty by taking reasonable actions to restore the putting green as nearly as possible to its original condition. But if
the player improves the putting green by taking actions that exceed what is reasonable to restore the putting green to its original condition the player gets the general penalty for breach of Rule
“Damage on the putting green” means any damage caused by a person or outside influence, such as:
Ball marks, shoe damage (such as spike marks) and scrapes or indentations caused by equipment or a flagstick, old hole plugs, turf plugs, seams of cut turf and scrapes or indentations from
maintenance tools or vehicles, animal tracks or hoof indentations, and embedded objects (such as a stone, acorn or tee).
If you were meaning something more than the above when you said "not levelled properly" then you cannot take any action - remember the old saying Gan -
"Play the course as you find it"!!
Peter (Thursday, 07 November 2019 12:31)
Taking relief and use of tee pegs. Rule 14.1 a. “When a ball is lifted to take relief under a rule the player is not required to mark the spot before lifting ball”. Is it then necessary to use tee
pegs ( or similar ) to mark reference point and relief area before dropping ball? Or can relief area be indicated just by laying down longest club? Or, is it even necessary to use club if your drop
is obviously within one club length of reference point? ( 2 club lengths if dropping under penalty ).
Gan (Thursday, 07 November 2019 01:35)
If the ground around the hole is not levelled properly, are we allowed to tap around the hole before making a putt?
Jack (Sunday, 03 November 2019 16:30)
You should take this up with the Match Committee of your club Greg. This type of behaviour is not acceptable at any time. It may be difficult for you as he is on the committee, and I suggest you talk
to the Club Captain, or another senior official.
Regarding Rules of Golf, refer to Rule 3.3b which states the responsibilities of both Marker and Player in recording scores. This should have taken place when you had different scores for Hole
Regarding the match you were playing, I would definitely agree that the match was conceded when your opponent threw your card to you at hole 9 and left the course. Rule 3.2b(2) reads:-
A concession is made only when clearly communicated. This can be done either verbally or by an action that clearly shows the player’s intent to concede the stroke, the hole or the match (such as
making a gesture).
His gesture was very clear!!
Greg (Sunday, 03 November 2019 07:24)
playing a medal, on hole 4 my marker put me down for 7, I had a six and stated so. He flew off the handle, accused me of cheating and every attempt by me to calm him and suggest we count the strokes
together was met with venom. we were also playing the club singles knock out which I was 3 up at the time. anyway he threw my card at me onafter 9 and drove away not to be seen again. he is on the
committee so I signed my card and submitted it with match won by concession on it.. didnt go to prizegiving and waiting to hear.
Jack (Sunday, 27 October 2019 02:51)
From your question Christine, I suggest that you and this person who marks your card, should read Rule 3.3b "Scoring in Stroke Play" in the Player's Edition of the Rules of Golf. (This is the small
book issued to all members of golf clubs from the R&A and USGA).
Rule 3.3b(1) details the Marker's Responsibility: Entering and Certifying Hole Scores on Scorecard, and Rule 3.3b(2) details the Player's Responsibility.
There should be no situation where one is telling the other that their score is wrong. It is just a matter of fact and should be discussed and agreed after each hole.
I hope this helps you sort this matter out - or perhaps you need a different marker!
Christine (Saturday, 26 October 2019 17:36)
Hi when I play with a certain person and they are not marking my card but keep telling me my score and sometimes tells me I’m wrong which upsets me, is this person allowed to tell me off?
Jack (Thursday, 24 October 2019 22:21)
No Bob, as soon as the result of the hole is decided, in this case by a concession (or gimme), the player may practise putting or chipping on or near the putting green of the hole just completed and
any practice green. ( Rule 5.5b).
Strokes made by a player in playing out a hole whose result has been decided are not practice strokes. (Rule 5.5a).
Strokes made by a player in playing out a hole whose result has been decided.
Bob (Thursday, 24 October 2019 11:07)
In match play, when a player declares an opposing players upcoming putt to be good, in other words a gimme, is that player obligated to pick his ball up and not putt?
Jack (Saturday, 19 October 2019 00:36)
Re Friday Newsletter Query
There are some actions that result in penalties in a bunker, such as testing the sand, etc. (Rule 12.2b(1)), but in answer to the position of the player in your photograph, no penalty applies.
Under Rule 12.2b(2) Placing clubs, equipment or other objects in the bunker (whether by throwing or setting them down) - no penalty. But the player gets the general penalty if his or her actions in
touching the sand improve the conditions affecting the stroke.
Please pass this answer to your readers. Jack
Jack (Thursday, 17 October 2019 18:32)
Good question Macke, and the best way to answer it is for me to quote Rule 18.2a :-
"(1) When Ball Is Lost. A ball is lost if not found in three minutes after the player or his or her caddie begins to search for it.
If a ball is found in that time but it is uncertain whether it is the player’s ball:
The player must promptly attempt to identify the ball (see Rule 7.2) and is allowed a reasonable time to do so, even if that happens after the three-minute search time has ended.
This includes a reasonable time to get to the ball if the player is not where the ball is found.
If the player does not identify his or her ball in that reasonable time, the ball is lost."
The main point here is that the 3-minute search time limit does not start until the player or caddie begin the search. The player cannot give anyone, other than the caddie, authority to search.
Anyone else searching is only being helpful.
If there are supporters and/or spectators it is normal for any nearby to start searching for any player's ball.
Macke (Thursday, 17 October 2019 01:23)
Subject: search time for the ball .
Almost in all cases when the player authorise somebody to do anything with his / her ball , the player is responsible for the action of that person, but this is not the case with search time , the
player may authorise 10 people (friends and family members) to start searching as soon as the players Tee off and before the player reach the spot where the his / her ball may be found , and that may
result in 10 people search for the player in around 5 minutes before the player join them and then continue all of including the player for additional 3 minutes which make it unfair search time to
the fellow competitor who is alone and has 3 minutes search time. This situation is very common in amateur competition specially on club level.
(it is different for PGA, LPGA etc where ther is always a lot of spectators who are volentary helps all players without authorisation from players) . Why couldn´t be the search time 3 minutes when
any body start searching for the ball authorised by the player or his caddy. should it not be the game fair in all aspects even in search time.
What is the reason that USGA and R&A has a good interpretation on this?
Thankful for answer
Jack (Thursday, 10 October 2019 19:05)
You are quite correct "golfing joe", but I did not considerate it necessary to go into the full relief procedure for a Red Penalty Area.
To answer his question in detail I would have required a full description of the hole - including bunker, green and penalty area.
Jack (Thursday, 10 October 2019 18:55)
You did not tell me whether you were playing Stroke or Match Play Roy, as the answers are covered under different Rules.
Rule 11.2b A player gets the general penalty if he or she deliberately deflects or stops any ball in motion.
General Penalty - Loss of hole in match play or two penalty strokes in stroke play.
Stroke Play -
Rule 11.2b(2) The stroke does not count, and the original ball or another ball must be replaced on its original spot and replayed.
Match Play -
Rule 3.2b(1) - The player may concede the opponent's next stroke by deflecting or stopping the opponent's ball in motion.
For more information Roy, go to - https://www.randa.org/en/rog/2019/pages/the-rules-of-golf
golfing_joe (Wednesday, 09 October 2019 16:39)
Jack. Your answer #67 is strange. The guy does not say where the flagstick is, he just said he hit it over the green. It would have to be a very precise point of entry to not have a valid relief
area. It would almost take some string measured from the flagstick to prove no point of the equidistant arc is further from the hole. I would always offer something, even if it was just a slither
outside the penalty area.
Roy T. (Wednesday, 09 October 2019 04:10)
My opponent stopped my putt deliberately with his club on the green, what is the penalty please.
Jack (Sunday, 29 September 2019 03:35)
Your ball is in - what is now called a Red Penalty Area - and from your description your only option is Stroke and Distance Kurtis. That is dropping a ball back in the bunker within one club-length
of where your last stroke was made. Penalty one stroke.
You can drop out from a penalty area within two club-lengths of where it entered, but in your case this would be nearer the hole, so not available.
Kurtis (Sunday, 29 September 2019 00:19)
If i hit outta a bunker and it flew over the green into a red stake hazard can i drop the ball in line behind the bunker
Kathy (Thursday, 26 September 2019 07:01)
Thanks for your answer.
My understanding of Rule 1.3c(4) is that when multiple breaches of the same rule occur before an intervening event (i.e., her stroke), she would receive one penalty stroke - so if she did not mark
her ball before lifting at 3 separate locations on a hole, she would receive an additional 3 penalty strokes for that hole under Rule 14.1. However, if each time she also played from a wrong place,
she would receive the higher penalty of two strokes under Rule 14.7 for a total of 6 penalty strokes on the hole.
Also, I don't think Rule 14.1b is applicable in this case because Rule 7.3 gives the player the authority to lift a ball if it "cannot be identified as it lies". I think what's at issue here is the
phrase "cannot be identified as it lies" because we're talking about her ability to identify a ball without her glasses. The question becomes - is it reasonably necessary to lift the ball to identify
Thanks again for your help. I think I'm pretty well armed to take this situation on the next time it arises.
Jack (Tuesday, 24 September 2019 18:36)
Kathy you will need a Rule book to understand my reply.... we have several Rules that apply to your question.
First, the lifting to identify is covered under Rule 7.3 as your player gets a one-stroke penalty for not marking before lifting.
Secondly, under the same Rule, she would incur another penalty if she cleaned the ball more than necessary to identify it.
Thirdly, if she doesn't replace her ball on the same place, she can be penalised under Rule 14.7a with a two-stroke penalty for playing from a wrong place.
Lastly, under Rule 1.3c(4) for multiple breaches of the same acts, she would incur only one of each penalty for the whole round.
Finally, you must read Rule 14.1 which covers marking, lifting, cleaning and who may lift ball. The last one - Rule 14.1b - answers your question about lifting a fellow competitor's ball without
If you are playing Match Play, read Rule 9.5 for rulings.
A bit of reading required Kathy, but I hope it all helps.
Kathy (Monday, 23 September 2019 18:13)
Hi Jack - I play with someone who refuses to wear her glasses on the course. As a result, she cannot identify her ball unless she brings it up to her nose to look at it. On top of that, she never
marks before she lifts and she nonchalantly tosses the ball back in the general vicinity of the original spot instead of replacing the ball on the original spot. Unfortunately, she does this to her
fellow-competitors' balls as well as her own. Rule 7.3 seems to imply she will receive a penalty if she takes these actions with her own ball, but if she takes the same actions to my ball in stroke
play, my ball is treated as being moved by an outside influence and she does not receive a penalty. Is this correct? I'm having a hard time understanding how she can do this dozens of times over a
round and walk away without a single penalty.
Jack (Thursday, 12 September 2019 18:31)
The definition of "Holed" states -
"When a ball is at rest in the hole after a stroke and the entire ball is below the surface of the putting green."
There is no Rule that says a ball in the hole must be removed before another putts, but if there is any chance that the ball already in the hole might prevent the second ball from fully complying
with that definition, it would be sensible to remove the first ball.
Hope this answers your question Terry.
Terry (Tuesday, 10 September 2019 11:46)
If someone has put their ball in the hole, can I putt my ball into the hole as well, or does the first ball have to be removed.
Jack (Wednesday, 04 September 2019 04:22)
Rule 4.1a (3) Reads as follows: Deliberately Changing Club’s Performance Characteristics During Round.
A player must not make a stroke with a club whose performance characteristics he or she deliberately changed during the round (including while play is stopped under Rule 5.7a)
By applying any substance to the clubhead (other than in cleaning it) to affect how it performs in making a stroke.
Before the club is used to make a stroke, if it is restored as nearly as possible to its original position by adjusting the feature back to where it was, there is no penalty and the club may be used
to make a stroke.
Penalty for Making Stroke in Breach of Rule 4.1a: Disqualification.
That is all pretty decisive Simon - "Any Substance" even water is not allowed. You will have to try a different method to hit your ball straight!!!
Simon (Tuesday, 03 September 2019 15:57)
I normally hit a big fade with my driver, but playing in the rain recently, with a wet clubface, I noticed I was driving it straight. Since then I have been wetting the clubface with a squirt of
water before my drive and it goes straight.Is there anything in the rules that says that I'm not allowed to do that? Thanks
Jack (Monday, 29 July 2019 14:04)
Thanks for the explanation Zubair. When you said that you had taken a free pick of your partners ball that was on the path, I assumed that was your choice of ball.
I have no knowledge of the Rules of the game you were playing as it is a variation of Foursomes, but you will have to ask a local rules official if picking up the first ball and dropping it, is
considered your pick, even if you didn't hit it.
Zubair (Monday, 29 July 2019 11:32)
Let me try to explain what happened
Both partners were supposed to hit the first shot. After that we had to select one ball to play alternate shots. My partners ball hit from tee was eligible for free drop. So i took the free drop. But
we selected my ball( hit from tee) as the best ball. The opponents claimed the hole on the basis that once we took a free drop we had to play that ball only. In other words we had to select the best
ball before taking the free drop. I hope i have made it clear.
Jack (Monday, 29 July 2019 04:20)
You tell me you were playing Foursomes (Alternate Shot) but you and your partner were both teeing off at each hole!
In true Foursomes, one partner tees off on the odd numbered holes for the whole round and the other player tees off on all the even numbered holes, then the partners must alternate strokes for the
rest of the hole
The game you played must be a local form of Foursomes which is not included in the Rules of Golf, however, reading your question I assume you were only allowed one "pick" and as you and your partner
changed your choice after you had played his ball, you had another "pick" and broke the Rules which means your opponents were correct.
Being unaware of the Rules of your game, that is my guess!! (Where was the game played?)
Zubair (Sunday, 28 July 2019 11:52)
We were playing foursome ( alternate shots). Everyone was supposed to hit from the tee and after selecting the best ball the game was to be played on the basis of alternate shots. My partner hit the
ball from the tee into the rough, close to the path where I was eligible for a free pick. My tee shot was in the fareway.
I took a free pick of my partners ball. After the freepick the ball got a bad lie and my partner decided to play my drive shot. To this our opponents objected and claimed the hole. They contented
that since I had taken the free pick it was mandatory to play the same ball, or we had to decide the best ball to be hit before the freepick was taken.
Please explain the rule
Thanks in advance.
Zubair A Ashai
Jack (Thursday, 11 July 2019 04:04)
Having found that the original ball is in play, the provisional ball can now be abandoned. There is no time limit to look for it as long as you are not causing any hold-up on the course.
Just a matter of good course Etiquette.
Jack (Thursday, 11 July 2019 03:49)
The following is the official R&A wording that answers your question John:-
For two penalty strokes, the player may take relief by dropping the original ball or another ball in this relief area (see Rule 14.3):
Two Estimated Reference Points:
(a). Ball Reference Point: The point where the original ball is estimated to have:
• Come to rest on the course, or
• Last crossed the edge of the course boundary to go out of bounds.
(b). Fairway Reference Point: The point of fairway of the hole being played that is nearest to the ball reference point, but is not nearer the hole than the ball reference point.
The main point is you must not drop the ball on the fairway any closer to the hole. Come back to me John if you would like any more explanation. Cheers Jack
Joe (Wednesday, 10 July 2019 16:37)
First ball maybe OB. Provisional ball is played and may be lost. Its quickly established that original ball is in play. Is anytime allowed to look for the provisional ball?
John Wallbank (Tuesday, 09 July 2019 21:22)
Playing hole 4 your tee shot goes into rough on 16th hole. Your ball is lost. Where do you play next shot from if club has rule that you can drop a ball on fairway if ball goes out of bounds or lost
on hole you are playing?
Jack (Tuesday, 18 June 2019 17:46)
Yes Diane, if you read Rule 11.1 you will see all the Rules regarding a ball in motion striking something, and in answer to your question - YES, you are penalised 2-strokes.
This is clearly stated under Rule 11.1a Exception -
"Ball Played on Putting Green in Stroke Play:
If the player’s ball in motion hits another ball at rest on the putting green and both balls were on the putting green before the stroke, the player gets the general penalty (two penalty strokes)."
Diane (Monday, 17 June 2019 11:28)
Playing a tri-am is there a penalty if you hit a teammate’s ball when both balls are on the putting green?
Jack (Saturday, 01 June 2019 19:25)
The new Local Rule for a ball lost or out-of-bounds is only available to players if the golf club they are playing on has the Local Rule posted on a Rules Board (or similar).
NZ Golf has issued the following information on this subject:-
The purpose of this Local Rule is to allow a golf club or Committee to provide an extra relief option that allows a player to play on without returning to the location of the previous stroke.
It is New Zealand Golf’s recommendation that the Stroke and Distance Local Rule is introduced for all play at golf clubs in New Zealand, with the exception of elite play.
Elite play is defined as
• Club Championships
• Club and District Opens
• National Championships
While it is New Zealand Golf’s recommendation to introduce the Stroke and Distance Local Rule, it is still at the discretion of each District Association and individual golf clubs to introduce as and
when they choose to do so.
Kenmo you have stumped on the subject of a supplementary card! I can see references to it on some websites, but have never heard of it in New Zealand.
Kenmo (Friday, 31 May 2019 12:29)
New 2019 rule on lost ball is a local rule at my club. However, I have been told that it does not apply to competions or medals. When searching the web I can only find reference to professional
competitions and elite amateurs where the new does not apply.
Also, what about a supplementary card?
Jack (Monday, 27 May 2019 19:13)
The R&A / USGA issued three books covering the New Rules from 1st January 2019.
"The Player's Edition", "The Rules of Golf" and "Official Guide to the Rules of Golf". The first two make little or no reference to Local Rules, but the third book has large coverage of Model Local
Rules which includes the one you refer to with diagram. (It is MLR E-5).
This is all available at the R&A website as follows -
There's lots to read Barry, good luck.
barry vandenameele (Monday, 27 May 2019 15:42)
in the newest edition of the RULES OF GOLF, there is no mention of the optional local rule for ball out of bounds or ball lost.
Why aren't those options in the rule book?
Jack (Monday, 20 May 2019 00:57)
I have been unavailable the past week Barbara, but as a follow-up to your last message, I ask you to look at the following link to the "Official Guide to the Rules of Golf 2019" which lists
"Interpretations" not called "Decisions" now!
Read Interpretations - 3.3b(4)/1 - and - 3.3b(4)/2
It appears to me that this matter should have been fully checked out before the disqualification.
Barbara (Wednesday, 15 May 2019 10:46)
The adjustment made was to the net score for the first round ie upwards. The confusion seems to be around what the player was responsible for as regards recording her handicap on the card. I have now
found in Decisions on the Rules 6-2b/0.5 as to the meaning of ‘handicap’ in regards to the scorecard : “He(the player) must record his full handicap . It is the committee’s responsibility to apply
the conditions of competition to adjust his handicap”. The player in question put her NZGA handicap on the card for the first round and was disqualified for that!?
Jack (Wednesday, 15 May 2019 03:52)
Ref # 41
It is unclear from your message Barbara, what adjustment was made by the committee after the first round.
However, it was certainly a condition of the Tournament that the maximum handicap allowed was 40. Although you say the full conditions were not on display, it is up to players to check conditions and
Local Rules before playing.
I consider the committee made the correct decision based on Rule 20.2e (2) which details reasons for disqualification.
The main problem appears to be poor organisation by the committee in not ensuring that all the tournament information was clearly advised to all players before play.
Barbara (Wednesday, 15 May 2019 01:10)
In a national home links ladies 36 hole foursomes comp played over 2 days, a week apart, a 23 and 44 handicap player were paired up on the first day with the encouragement of the vice club captain. A
full notice of the conditions was not on display. The pair played well but it was realised after the results of the first round that the conditions of the comp allowed a maximum handicap of 40. Their
score was adjusted accordingly by the committee and they played the second round the next week with the correct handicap adjustment on their card for that round. They were announced as having won the
competition within their home club. Then a week later it was announced by the vice captain that they had been disqualified because they had played the first round with an incorrect handicap on their
card. Both players had entered their NZGA handicaps on the card for the first round not realising there was a maximum handicap condition for the competition. The club match committee was not
consulted. Should the pair have been disqualified?
Jack (Wednesday, 08 May 2019 03:13)
Ref # 39
There should be no confusion Peter as there is just the one Local Rule.
When we wrote the new Local Rules for the club, the wording was simplified to make it more easily understood compared to the original R&A document.
Check our Local Rules board for the details.
If you want to see the full wording go to https://www.randa.org/en/rog/2019/pages/local-rules-creator?localRulesCreatorId=359cfec3-3405-49a2-9158-b7baf60c1147 and read E5. (It need some carefull
reading !!). Cheers.
Peter (Wednesday, 08 May 2019 00:59)
Thanks Jack. As I thought ++! - Great explanation.
Are members perhaps confusing (1) the out of bounds rule and (2) the 'anywhere' lost ball rule that you describe? There would seem to have been a number of such instances recently, albeit with the
number of penalty strokes 'correctly' counted.
Jack (Tuesday, 07 May 2019 22:37)
Ref # 37
Two things are wrong in your question Peter. If his second shot went into "never never land" it is unclear where he dropped his new ball. Under the Local Rule for lost balls, you must determine the
spot where the ball is likely to be lost. That spot is the reference point for deciding where another ball can be dropped. Dropping "on fairway roughly in line with ball's last seen flight. (inside 2
club lengths of edge)" is completely wrong!!
Your score count is also incorrect. When his second ball was lost, the dropped ball meant his next shot to the green would be his fifth, then with a chip and a putt, the final score would be
Finally, the player should have been penalised under Rule 14.7b for playing from a wrong place, which would have meant disqualification.
Sorry Peter - tough call!!
Peter (Tuesday, 07 May 2019 18:30)
Please clarify WGC local rule.
Scene - Par 5 hole.
Tee shot - OK
2nd shot - Ball disappears into never-never land.
Player drops ball on fairway roughly in line with ball's last seen flight. (inside 2 club lengths of edge).
Player hits new ball to near edge of green.
Scores 6 on card.
Jack (Sunday, 21 April 2019 17:27)
Ref # 35
What a fun question Karen! It sounds that you were having an interesting game.
As far as the Rules of Golf are concerned the player did nothing wrong and no penalties would apply, but your suggestion that a visit to Specsavers should be on the cards makes sense.
The first Rule of Golf states "Golf is played in a round of 18 (or fewer) holes on a course by striking a BALL with a club." (As you said - it not a ball)
Karen (Saturday, 20 April 2019 18:34)
Playing her second shot from a tricky lie, to a par 3 hole, the player took her stance, and had a practice swing, then addresses the 'ball' to strike the 'ball' and had an 'air shot'. Re-positioning
herself she then struck the 'ball' which disintegrated- it was a mushroom. The players ball in play was located a few meters away, the hole was completed with the original ball. (After a few giggles
and a suggestion to visit spec savers), What would be the ruling here if any??? Hitting wrong ball, well it was a mushroom, or failing to identify the ball in play, or just good fortune the the
'ball' struck for her intended second shot was not a ball... Cheers
Jack (Thursday, 21 March 2019 03:51)
You say that the marker pole is defined on your course as a moveable obstruction. I assume that this definition has been issued by your club committee as a Local Rule, therefore your only relief is
by removing the pole. However, as this is not something that can be easily removed, it would be best if the Local Rule was amended to state that the pole is an immovable obstruction. Then full relief
is available under Rule 15-2. All Rules apply to all players - the ability to move an obstruction cannot be available to some players and not everyone.
You should discuss this with your club committee.
Nigel (Wednesday, 20 March 2019 04:14)
Black and white direction marker pole in middle of fairway defined as movable obstruction. However it is made of iron and cannot be easily removed if at all by female players. If you cannot remove it
do you get relief if interfering with stance or swing
Jack (Tuesday, 05 March 2019 01:25)
Interesting question Dave as I have never heard of a "Florida Ambrose" competition!! It is not covered in the Rules of Golf.
I have had to Google it for information. In most ambrose games, all players in a team play from the same spot, so to answer your question, I can see no reason why the third person cannot play.
However, I also don't understand why that person should "sit out the shot".
You need to check the competition rules not the Rules of Golf for your answer.
Dave (Sunday, 03 March 2019 21:46)
Hi. When playing a Florida Ambrose (3 people) and the 2 players hit their 2nd shots out of bounds, can the player who sat out the shot be permitted to have a shot from that same position?
Jack (Monday, 11 February 2019 02:07)
Patrick, your first obvious error was playing the wrong ball which you thought was your provisional. Under Rule 6-3c(1) the General Penalty applies, which is two-strokes in stroke play. As you did
not realise you had played the wrong ball until you reached the green, your original provisional ball would be deemed lost and you were very lucky that your first ball was found in bounds. If this
first ball had been OOB you would have had to retrace your steps back to your second shot and correct your error. This must be done BEFORE you play off the next tee, or you would be
Rule 18-3c confirms you can play a provisional ball more than once until you reach the estimated point of the original ball, but when you played the wrong provisional ball you received the penalty,
and I would therefore agree with your competition secretary’s decision.
Patrick (Sunday, 10 February 2019 17:11)
I played my tee shot to the fairway from where I hit my second shot which I pulled left and thought may have gone out of bounds.
So as not to cause delay, I played a provisional ball which I knocked down into the rough but still well short of the point where my original ball had reached.
I found what I thought was my provisional ball and played it on to the green and then moved on to where my I thought that my original ball had possibly gone out of bounds but found that it was still
in bounds and so I played it on to the green.
When I got to the green and picked up the provisional ball, I discovered that it was not in fact my ball and that I must have played a wrong ball when playing the provisional from the rough but as I
had found my original ball in play, within the allowed time, I finished out the hole with my original ball and disregarded the provisional.
When the competition secretary of my club heard about this, he penalized me two shots for playing a wrong ball regardless of the fact that I had found my original and that as such, I believe, that
any strokes played or penalties incurred whilst playing the provisional were null and void because the original had been found and was in play.
This cost me the monthly medal as I lost by a stroke due to the penalty that he applied.
Was he wrong in his actions ?
Jack (Thursday, 17 January 2019 15:11)
The procedure for a ball out of bounds :–
Determine the point where ball went out. Find a spot on the nearest fairway edge no closer to the hole, and drop a ball on the fairway within 2-club lengths of that spot. Penalty - 2-strokes.
This means that if the ball that went OOB was your drive, you will be playing you 4th shot from the fairway.
Finally, you cannot use this option if a provisional ball has been played.
(The wording in our Local Rule is being amended to clarify this procedure.)
Mike (Thursday, 17 January 2019 03:05)
Hi Jack. Re the 2019 local rule following:
ALTERNATIVE PLAY FOR A BALL LOST OR OUT-OF-BOUNDS
"For two penalty strokes, the player may take relief by dropping a ball in the fairway within two club-lengths of the estimated point of loss and no closer to the hole".
Question: If a ball has been hit out of bounds and the player knows roughly at which point it crossed the fence, two club lengths from the fence is still in the rough. Can he really take his ball
several meters further to the fairway and then drop it on the fairway two club lengths from the edge of the rough?
That is what one member was telling everyone today. Is he correct?
Jack (Tuesday, 06 November 2018 01:43)
Ref # 25
Hi Jerome. Sounds like you had great fun at your wolf and skins game, but I cannot even try to calculate your scores - you all made so many Rules errors, my glues is that you would (should) have been
For example, under the Rules of golf, you cannot drop a ball when the ball is lost and take a two stroke penalty. You have to return to the spot where the ball was last played from and also take a
two stroke penalty.
A provisional ball can only be played before you go forward to search.
I won't pick up your other errors, especially when I read that wolf is played with only 4 players.
Keep on enjoying your fun golf and if you get serious, I will be pleased to answerother questions on the Rules.
Jerome Padilla (Monday, 05 November 2018 06:43)
thank you in advance. facts
1. playing within a 5 some.
2. everyone playing wolf and skins.
3. lots of leaves on a par 5 hole.
me and 2 other players hit our balls into an area with many fallen leaves.
player 1 approaches his ball and hits it.
Player 2's ball is identified
I continue to search and after 5 minutes our group allows if a ball is lost to drop and take a 2 stroke penalty- stroke and distance. So i dropped hit and registered a 7 on the par 5.
my partner on wolf scores a 7 as well
my 3 opponents score 2 bogeys and the person who unknown to the group had hit my ball onto the green, putted out and scored a bogey.
Our opponents declared they won the hole with 4 carry overs.
Bummer for us.
Then we tee off on the next hole. we all hit , not leaves easy to find our balls, i hit left rough , the person that hit my .ball on the last hole resulting in my thinking by ball was lost, hit to
the right rough. we clearly saw the ball come to rest from the tee box.. I hit my ball on the green, well marked 8 with , my presumed lost ball was a well marked 3 . my opponents shot was short. At
this time we my opponent noticed and stated that this is your ball well marked as well. It turns out that he , played out my ball on the par 5, teed off on the next hole, hit his 2nd shot short and
then noticed the wrong ball scored.... what scored do i register on the par 5? am in penalized? we had a match with team play which presumed lost , but would have most likely tied, i played my
provisional from the point my ball was lost , group agreement, which was the spot that i would have dropped if we discovered the wrong ball error right away, but as stated we did not. how do we
correctly scored this scenario.
Jack (Sunday, 07 October 2018 21:31)
Ref # 23
Hi Frank. If you play a ball lodged in a bush or tree, no penalties would apply UNLESS there is a Local Rule at the course being played which prohibits play from a STAKED tree/bush. In which case,
you would be penalised 2-strokes (Stroke Play) or Loss of Hole (Match Play).
The message here is: ALWAYS read the Local Rules BEFORE you commence your round.
Finally, if you had declared the ball unplayable, you must proceed as described in Rule 28. The ball is always DROPPED not PLACED.
Frank (Thursday, 04 October 2018 21:57)
Hi Jack, question: If my ball is lodged in a bush about half meter of the ground can I make a play at it or do I need to take it out and place it on the ground and take a penalty stroke
Jack (Sunday, 02 September 2018 18:41)
Good one Mike. Here is my answer.
Under Rules 11-5 and 11-4b (Stroke Play), if a player plays from the wrong teeing ground he is penalised two-strokes and must correct this error before teeing off at the next hole, otherwise he is
As the 9th and 2nd Blue tees are close together and not clearly marked, I would refer to Rule 1-4 and make a decision in accordance with EQUITY. In other words - common sense! No penalties should be
applied in this competition.
The committee of the day should ensure that the course of the day is clearly marked, and it is something we will attend to with the upcoming BOP Open/North Island Stroke Play Tournament.
Thanks, we will ensure this confusion does not happen again.
Mike (Saturday, 01 September 2018 16:55)
Here's a good one Jack! It happened.
Scene - The combined 2nd & 9th tee area at Whakatane.
A group having just played the 1st, is hitting off to the 2nd between blue marker blocks on the road side of the area, as normal.
One of the group has already hit his tee shot.
Another group coming from the 8th green then arrives and points out that one of the blue tee blocks on the other side of the area, normally where 9th hole players hit off, has the number 2 inscribed
The people playing the 9th proceed to hit off from the blue blocks normally accepted as being the 2nd tee position on the road side.
The people playing the 2nd go across and hit off from what is normally the 9th side, where the blue block has a '2' on it. (One of the group of course tees off for the second time).
Question - Does the fact that the tee block has a '2' on it mean that it is identified officially as being the second hole tee position for the day?
Given that, as probably was the case, no one else in the field for the day noticed the numbered blue tee block, were the two groups involved the only ones correct in terms of the rule book, meaning
that the entire rest of the 'blue players' for the day should probably have been disqualified, or docked 4 strokes, or whatever?
No names, no pack drill. Just a teaser really, but strictly speaking are we obliged to check the identification of tee blocks in common tee areas? Or is common sense permitted?
Jack (Monday, 06 August 2018 03:54)
Ref # 19
From your description of the event, I would say that the other player was just too impatient! He should have waited until you had reached your ball to mark and lift it. If you were playing a match, I
would have expected him to give you the putt!!
There are two Rules involved here. Rule 18-5 reads "If a ball in play and at rest is moved by another ball in motion after a stroke, the moved ball must be replaced." which means you have to replace
your ball on the lip of the hole.
But then Rule 19-5a reads "If a player’s ball in motion after a stroke is deflected or stopped by a ball in play
and at rest, the player must play his ball as it lies." As his ball went into the hole he has finished the hole with that last stroke. As he played from off the green, there are no penalties to
Finally, under Rule 22-1a, you could have requested that the other player waits as you wish to lift your ball. If he ignored that request, he would have been penalised 2-strokes or
Thanks Pat - an interesting situation.
Pat (Friday, 03 August 2018 11:43)
In a fourball match. I chipped stone dead. I was heading up to mark the ball as it was on the lip but the other player chipped on as I was approaching my ball. His ball hit mine and went in. Was he
wrong to play or just bad etiquette
Jack (Sunday, 06 May 2018 17:50)
The answer to your question lies in Rule 19, but I need to know if you were playing Stroke play or Match play?
In Stroke play, Rule 19-1 applies. "If a player's ball in motion is accidentally deflected or stopped by any outside agency, it is a rub of the green, there is no penalty and the ball must be played
as it lies."
("Outside agency" includes another player, etc.)
In Match play Rule 19-3 applies. "If a player’s ball is accidentally deflected or stopped by an opponent, his caddie or his equipment, there is no penalty. The player may, before another stroke is
made by either side, cancel the stroke and play a ball, without penalty, as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played (Rule 20-5) or he may play the ball as it
As you can see in both cases, no penalty applies. It looks like your friends were right!!
P.S. For full details, read Rule 19. The above is just a brief summary.
Paul wilcock (Friday, 04 May 2018 12:36)
If a ball strikes a player who has just played the shot is this a penalty again the player who played the shot....my friends say it not...but l think it is...could you clarify for me please. Regards
Jack (Saturday, 24 March 2018 22:59)
A ball is out of bounds when it lies out of bounds. Your ball in question finished on the fairway and it is played as it lies. No penalty!!
(See Definition of Out-of-Bounds)
Tim (Friday, 23 March 2018 11:50)
Ball hit out of bounds hits a house and bounces back onto the fairway. Is that OB or play the ball where it lays on the fairway?
Jack (Thursday, 16 November 2017 17:39)
Interesting question Mike.
Under Rule 7-1b it is stated that practice is NOT permitted when two rounds are to be played on CONSECUTIVE DAYS but with your club's competition being the Saturday and Sunday over two weekends, this
does not prevent players playing, or practicing, on the course from the Monday to Friday of the intervening week.
As you admitted Mike, your disqualification was correct but the Friday one was legitimate.
Mike (Sunday, 12 November 2017 14:42)
Our stroke play is held over consecquitive days over two weekends. (4 rounds)
On the Saturday of the second weekend I practiced on the course after play, and was rightly disqualified for the final round.
The were no conditions of play issued by the match committee.
A player practiced on the Friday for the before the final weekend and was not disqualified
Why was he okay please. Thanks
Jack (Thursday, 09 November 2017 02:15)
Yes Alex under Rule 24-2b. In the circumstances you describe it is reasonable for you to play in the direction which allowed you to avoid hitting the tree. When you took your stance which caused you
to stand on the water system deemed as an immovable obstruction, you were entitled to take free relief. After finding your nearest point of relief and dropping within one club length, you may be
lucky enough to play in a better direction - all for no penalty.
Good knowledge of the Rules can be a big advantage!!
Well done. Regards Jack
Alex Rugen (Wednesday, 08 November 2017 01:56)
My ball has come to rest against a tree. The tree is preventing me from hitting a shot towards the green and the only shot I feel that I can play is backwards to try and get my ball back on to the
fairway. If I take this shot I will be standing on a water irrigation pipe. The local rules state that the entire water system is deemed an immovable obstruction. Can I have a free drop away from the
Jack (Friday, 19 May 2017 23:14)
Sorry about the delay in replying to your query Kaye. The website did not advise me!!
You did not say whether your Foursomes were Match play or Stroke play, so I will cover both.
In Matchplay, if a player plays a wrong ball the penalty is Loss-of-Hole.(Rule 15-3a). That applies only to the hole being played.
In Stroke play, the penalty is 2-strokes (Rule 15-3b) and the side must play a correct ball from the same spot. This error must be corrected BEFORE making a stroke from the next tee or the side is
disqualified (Rule 29-3)
The second part of your question makes me think you were playing Stroke play. If you are in this situation you should apply Rule 3-3, This allows you (and your foursomes partner) to play a second
ball and advise which one you wants to count if the Rules permit. You then advise the committee before signing your card at the end of the round.
Ask me again Kaye if you need any more information.
Kaye (Saturday, 06 May 2017 19:18)
A pair playing in a foursomes
Player 2 played the second shot and played the wrong ball. None of the group knew the rules but one very vocal player was telling them they were disqualified!
What do you do if you get in this situation and there is no-one handy to give you a ruling - obviously you can't stay there but if you tee off at the next hole without resolving the issue you are
Jack (Friday, 09 December 2016 19:23)
Good question Bonny, but the fact that the cable was out of bounds means NO RELIEF. The cable would come under the definition of "Obstructions" and in the Rules this reads as follows:-
"An obstruction is anything artificial, including the artificial surfaces and sides of roads and paths and manufactured ice, except:
a. Objects defining out of bounds, such as walls, fences, stakes and railings;
b. Any part of an immovable artificial object that is out of bounds; "
Under Rule 24-2 aplayer can obtain relief from an immovable obstruction, but, as mentioned above, not if it is out of bounds,.
Hope this answers the question for you.
Bonny (Thursday, 08 December 2016 10:13)
My opponent's ball landed just next to the OB line marked with stakes. Just beyond this line was a cable supporting an electric pole. It was beyond the OB line and outside the course (It did not mark
the OB line). His back swing was interfered by the cable. We had a great discussion, but came to no conclusion. One view was that he deserved relief as his swing was interfered by an immovable
obstruction. The other view was that since the obstruction was outside the course, no relief was permitted. Later I searched the net but found nothing. What could be the ruling?
Jack (Tuesday, 07 June 2016 19:49)
Ref # 5
This is a very interesting question, especially regarding the contact lenses when obviously thousands of golfers wear them!!
However, the golfer in question should be taking a penalty each time she lifts her ball from a bunker. Whilst highly unusual you would DROP using the procedure and penalty described in
All scores added to date have been unacceptable, as defined in the handicap manual, and when a player ignores one or more Rules of Golf and fails to post an adjusted hole score or fails to record the
appropriate penalty for a breach of a rule - Rule 6-6b - the penalty is disqualification.
Hope this helps Mary. (I have checked this reply with NZ Golf as it was a little strange!!)
Mary (Saturday, 04 June 2016 09:56)
A golfer habitually removes her ball from the sand bunkers and places it (not drops) it in the grass, supposedly because sand may get in her eyes. Said golfer had eye surgery well over a year ago and
the surgery was not a success and requires her to wear contacts. Not an excuse, says I. What concerns me is the fact that she posts her score for handicapping purposes without adding penalty
stroke(s) for each time she does this during a round. What is the rule pertaining to this? Thanks!!
Jack (Monday, 21 March 2016 04:14)
Ref # 3
Yes Ron, you are correct. Player B receives the penalty.
Ron (Sunday, 20 March 2016 05:17)
None of the 7 listed situations applied. As I understand the team to consist of 4 partners, if one of the partners accidentally moves a ball belonging to any one of the other 3 partners, then it is
the owner of the moved ball who incurs the penalty; ie in my original scenario player B incurs the penalty - correct?
Jack (Sunday, 20 March 2016 03:20)
Ref # 1
This is covered in Rule 18 "Ball at Rest Moved"
18-2. By Player, Partner, Caddie or Equipment - and it covers several instances where the ball might be moved and no penalty applies, however I need more detail to rule if a penalty applies in this
Go to page 90 in the "Rules of Golf" and read the seven listed situations and if none applies to your question, then, because he replaced the ball, a 1-stroke penalty is incurred by the player.
This is one of the times you need a Rule book in your golf bag Ron!
Ron (Saturday, 19 March 2016 15:47)
Team of 4 players A, B, C, D playing best 3 scores per hole. Player A accidentally moves ball of player B. Player B replaces ball prior to playing his next stroke. Which (if any) player incurs a