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During the second round of play during the 2013 Solheim Cup, an official made a ruling for the European team playing foursomes. The ball was in a bunker and one member of the European team hit the ball; it lodged in a plant in the bunker and was declared unplayable. The European team was allowed to remove the ball from the bunker and play the next shot keeping the point where the ball was unplayable between them and the pin (option c). I thought that the ball had to remain in the bunker under these circumstances. Even though the ball may not have been lying on the sand in the bunker, it was within the confines of the bunker and bunker definition is vertically down. Could you please clarify? Was the ruling correct?
When the European team hit the ball into the plant that was within the confines of the bunker, the ball was no longer touching the sand. Within the definition of a Bunker in the Rules of Golf is: The margin of a bunker extends vertically downwards, but not upwards. A ball is in a bunker when it lies in or any part of it touches the bunker. Because the margins of a bunker do not extend vertically upward, a ball could lie in a plant or tree and be overhanging the bunker and not be “in the bunker” based on the Rules of Golf.
Q. Is a ball in a bunker if it lies on the edge of the bunker overhanging, but not touching, the sand?
A. No. The margin of a bunker, unlike that of a water hazard, does not extend vertically upwards.
28/9 Ball Lying on Grass-Covered Ground Within Bunker Deemed Unplayable
Q. A player's ball is lying on grass-covered ground within a bunker. The player deems the ball unplayable and elects to drop it under Rule 28b. Must he drop it in the bunker?
A. No. Grass-covered ground within a bunker is not part of the bunker. Accordingly, the player may drop the ball behind the bunker.
During an event a player A accidentally kicked a divot (which had been replaced) from its position in the ground when taking her stance. Clearly it was in taking her stance and not in her line of play. There was a discussion on if the divot needed to be replaced and if she would be penalized but I never heard the ruling. What is the correct ruling?
As Player A was walking into her stance, she moved a replaced divot and immediately called for a Ruling. The Rule involved is 13-2, Improving Lie, Area of Intended Stance or Swing, or Line of Play. The divot that was moved by Player A did not improve the lie of her ball, did not improve where she was going to stand to play the stroke and did not improve the area in which she intended to swing her golf club. Therefore, Player A did not incur a penalty in that situation. The key to these rulings is to ask a question, what was improved. Since we know you have a Decisions book, look at Decisions 13-2/0.5, 13-2/5, 13-2/6 and 13-2/7. After that, I think you'll have a better understanding of the Rule and be ready to use it on your friends in your next round of golf.
Q. In a match between A and B, B's caddie purports to concede A's next stroke, whereupon A lifts his ball. What is the ruling?
2-4/3.5 Stroke Conceded by Caddie
A. As a player's caddie does not have the authority to make a concession, the purported concession is invalid. As A had reasonably believed his next stroke had been conceded, in equity (Rule 1-4), A incurs no penalty and must replace the ball. B incurs no penalty; however, had B's caddie lifted A's ball, B would have incurred a one-stroke penalty under Rule 18-3b.
A question that has been on my mind for a long time. I noticed on the Solheim Cup a caddy standing/kneeling behind a player actually lining her up for her putt. Though I've seen this before and understand it is within the rules of golf, to me, it is much more objectionable than anything else I've seen, I think it almost smacks of cheating. It certainly takes the "individual" out of the sport. Seems if someone is a "pro" with all that implies, they would be practiced enough to compete on their own merit and not depend on someone else to line them up.
Yes it is part of the Rules of Golf for a caddie or partner to help a player read putts and help them align the putter face to that line. It does not in any way shape or form come close to cheating. A golfer must execute every shot on their own and their success or failure is based on their skill and ability to play the game. At the professional level, the caddie becomes a teammate to the player. Jim "Bones" Mackay is an intricate part of every shot Phil Mickelson hits and helps him read every putt and Phil would tell you how important that relationship is to his career. The USGA and R&A study and govern the Rules of Golf to insure every competitor is competing on a level playing field. Every four years they modify and change Rules to achieve that goal. Within their Rules, they sometimes allow a Rules Committee, to consider allowing or prohibiting certain conditions of competition, for instance allowing the use of distance measuring devices or prohibiting practice putting after the completion of a hole. The practice of allowing a caddie or partner to align a player is not a condition of competition and therefore cannot be prohibited under the Rules. The ladies on the LPGA Tour are very talented and do succeed on their own merit and within the Rules of Golf. Thanks again for the question and keep watching!
Thursday during the U.S. Women's Open we had a situation where two balls lay next to each other in a bunker. Rule 22 covers this situation. If a ball interferes with another players line of play, lie of ball or the area of their intended swing, they may have the interfering ball marked and lifted. In this case, because both balls lay in the bunker, the lie of the lifted ball will be altered by the other players stroke. When that happens in a bunker, the lie of the lifted ball must be recreated and the ball placed in that lie. For that reason, you would see a caddie rake a bunker prior to a player playing from that bunker.
Thanks for the great question! According to the Rules of Golf, unless the player is operating under an applicable Rule, she is not allowed to lift her ball in play unless it lies on the green. The penalty for lifting a ball without authority is one stroke. During this year’s ISPS Handa Australian Women’s Open, the Rules Committee decided to play preferred lies. Preferred lies is a local Rule that is imposed, when conditions warrant, to allow a player to lift her ball in any “closely mown area” on the hole being played. A closely mown area would be any area that is cut at fairway height or lower, i.e. the fairway, tee decks and the fringe of the green. So, the player was operating under that local Rule so the lifting and cleaning of her ball on the fringe of the 10th green was okay.
I’m assuming a few things in this question. This is stroke play, you played the provisional ball before going forward to search for your ball and your ball was not found in the 5 minutes allowed by the Rules because your fellow competitor played your ball. If both you and your fellow competitor played from the next teeing ground, your fellow competitor is disqualified for playing a wrong ball and not correcting it. You are not disqualified because you played in accordance with the Rules. Your ball was lost, not found in the 5 minute search period and you then played your provisional ball. You can refer to Decision 27/6 for a more detailed explanation and I would hesitate playing golf with that particular person until they get their eyes checked. At the very least she owes you lunch.