Rules Q&A

Rules Q&A

How many clubs can I carry?

A player is limited to 14 clubs for a round. If a player starts the round with 13 clubs he can add another club, (any club) at any time. However if a player starts the round with more than 14 clubs he incurs the penalty of two strokes for each hole he has the extra club, maximum penalty of 4 strokes. See Decision 4-, Decision 4- and Decision 4- for further clarification.

Playing lift and clean - the ball goes into water on a par 3 - a ball is dropped in the drop zone. Can you now lift and clean the dropped ball?

The answer depends on the wording of the “lift, clean and place” Rule. On the LPGA Tour, when we put this Rule into effect, we only allow it to be used in the fairway or grass mown at fairway height or less.

A right-handed golfer pulls her tee shot. The ball ends up next to the tree where she does not have a shot. She decides to hit it out left-handed, but in that case her stance interferes with the cart path. So she takes a relief. After the drop, she finds that she is now able to swing right-handed. She hits it right handed and finds the green. Is this OK?

Yes. However, if the ball was so close to the tree that neither a right or left-handed was reasonable, relief would not be available.

Playing in a foursome last week, one of our foursome laid the flagstick 15-20 feet behind the hole we thought out of the way...one of our foursome putt started rolling down the hill toward where the flagstick laid, one of the foursome ran and picked the flagstick up where the putt would not hit it, the guy putting it said that was a stroke penalty on him, then he said it was on the person that laid it there? Is there any penalty for all the above.... we are still trying to find someone that can give us that ruling.

Rule 1-2 states: A player or caddie must not take action to influence the movement of a ball except in accordance with the Rules. Let's assume that the flagstick is lying near the hole and you putt. If anyone thinks the ball might strike the flagstick and as a courtesy moves the flagstick, that player would incur the penalty of two strokes. See Decision 1-2/3.

Thank you for answering this question, which I have had a dozen interpretations of. If you hit your ball to an island green marked by red hazard lines, and the ball flies over the green and into the water on the far side of the green, where is the proper place to drop your ball after taking a one stroke penalty?

Since your ball lasted crossed the lateral hazard (red) line you have four options with a one-stroke penalty (other than playing the ball as it lies):
1) play a ball as near as possible to the spot where the original ball was last played;
2) drop a ball behind the water hazard, keeping the point at which the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard directly between the hole and spot on which the ball is dropped…;
3) drop a ball outside the water hazard within two club-lengths of and not nearer the hole than the point where the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard; or
4) within two club-lengths of a point on the opposite side of the water hazard that is equidistant from the hole.
See Rule 26-1

Red and yellow hazard markers. What is the difference?

Stakes and lines used to define a lateral water hazard must be marked red.
Stakes and lines used to define a water hazard must be marked yellow. Check out the difference between these two hazards by looking up "Lateral Water Hazard" and "Water Hazard" in the "Definitions" section in the Rules of Golf Booklet.

The relief procedure for water hazards and lateral water hazards are different and are explained in detail under Rule 26.

Are there any instances when a club can be grounded in a hazard without incurring a penalty?

A player's club may touch the ground in a hazard or water in a water hazard in measuring or probing in water in a water hazard to find ball, in probing to find a ball covered by loose impediments or in preventing that player from falling (Rule 13-4). Remember that the definition of grounding is when the grass is compressed to the point where it will support the weight of the club (see Decision 18-2b/5).

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