ASK JACK - About the Rules of Golf

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Comments: 149
  • #149

    Paul (Monday, 13 July 2020 00:46)

    Thanx Jack
    Very helpful

  • #148

    Jack (Sunday, 12 July 2020 20:15)

    Ref #147
    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

  • #147

    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) ��

  • #146

    Jack (Thursday, 09 July 2020 19:29)

    Ref #145
    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)."

  • #145

    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

  • #144

    Jack (Sunday, 05 July 2020 23:06)

    Ref #143
    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!

  • #143

    Malcolm (Sunday, 05 July 2020 10:18)

    Hi Jack.

    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 ?

  • #142

    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 �

  • #141

    Jack (Friday, 03 July 2020 04:18)

    Ref #138
    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.

  • #140

    Jack (Friday, 03 July 2020 03:53)

    Ref #137
    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

  • #139

    Jack (Friday, 03 July 2020 03:30)

    Ref #136
    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 inches.
    Your friend's opponent was stretching the meaning and in my opinion no penalty should have been applied.

  • #138

    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

  • #137

    Ray (Wednesday, 01 July 2020 17:02)

    Hi Jack
    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.
    Many thanks
    Regards Ray

  • #136

    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 ??

  • #135

    Jack (Sunday, 28 June 2020 19:32)

    Ref #133
    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.

  • #134

    Jack (Sunday, 28 June 2020 18:50)

    Ref #132
    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.

  • #133

    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?

  • #132

    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: Provisional
    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?


  • #131

    Jack (Thursday, 18 June 2020 04:00)

    Ref #130
    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.

  • #130

    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

  • #129

    Jack (Sunday, 14 June 2020 18:46)

    Ref #128
    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.

  • #128

    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. ?

  • #127

    Jack (Thursday, 04 June 2020 00:43)

    Ref #126
    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!

  • #126

    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?

  • #125

    Jack (Monday, 25 May 2020 04:10)

    Ref #120
    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!

  • #124

    Jack (Sunday, 24 May 2020 19:54)

    Ref #121
    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.

  • #123

    Jack (Sunday, 24 May 2020 18:21)

    Ref #122
    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)

  • #122

    Fred (Sunday, 24 May 2020 15:45)

    Hi Jack
    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.

  • #121

    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?

  • #120

    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.

  • #119

    Jack`` (Thursday, 21 May 2020 19:59)

    Ref #118
    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.

  • #118

    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?

  • #117

    Jack (Sunday, 26 April 2020 01:00)

    Ref #116
    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."

  • #116

    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?

  • #115

    Jack (Wednesday, 08 April 2020 23:30)

    Ref #114
    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.

  • #114

    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.

  • #113

    Jack (Monday, 16 March 2020 03:42)

    Ref #112
    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.

  • #112

    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 ,,

  • #111

    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:

  • #110

    Paul Sharples (Tuesday, 10 March 2020 01:36)

    Hi Jack,
    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 ?

  • #109

    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 ?

  • #108

    Jack (Sunday, 16 February 2020 16:50)

    Ref #107
    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.

  • #107

    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

  • #106

    Jack (Tuesday, 11 February 2020 16:15)

    Ref #105
    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 14.1).
    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."

  • #105

    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,

  • #104

    Jack (Friday, 24 January 2020 02:31)

    Ref #103
    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 shots.
    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.

  • #103

    Rose (Wednesday, 22 January 2020 19:50)

    In a 4some do you add the penalty at the end of the hole .

  • #102

    Jack (Tuesday, 21 January 2020 02:20)

    Ref #101
    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.

  • #101

    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?

  • #100

    Jack (Friday, 03 January 2020 01:29)

    Ref #98
    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!