Rules Q&A

Rules Q&A

On the second hole I drove the ball into a bunch of dry leaves and old grass clippings made by the gardeners. May I move my ball out of the leaves? Should I take one -troke penalty or is it a free relief?

If the dry leaves and old grass was material piled for removal then it would be considered “Ground under repair” and relief would be available without penalty, (See Rule 25-1b). If the debris was not intended to be removed you would either play the ball as it lay or declare it unplayable and proceed under Rule 28a, b or c, incurring a one-stroke penalty.

I was playing a match and my opponent hit her ball in a lateral hazard. She was being very careful not to ground her club as she walked down the embankment but she slipped and fell. Her club hit the ground inside the hazard. Should she have been assessed a penalty for grounding her club? I didn't because I felt it was inadvertent.

No. See Exception 1 under Rule 13

I'm on the green, flag out, I putt and the ball goes off the green. On my next shot what do I do with the flag? Must it stay out, in, or do I have an option? Thank you - Marty Roos

Since your ball lies through the green you have the options of having the flag left in the hole unattended, having it attended or having it removed from the hole. (See Rule 17)

If you are dropping a ball by or in front of a water hazard and the ball rolls forward does that constitute a re-drop. Keep in mind we are dropping well back from where the ball entered the hazard.

This is a common question and most players get confused. Basically if the ball rolls more than two club-lengths, from where it first struck a part of the course, regardless of direction, it must be re-dropped, see Rule 20-2c (vi). If the ball rolls and comes to rest nearer the hole than the point where the original ball last crossed the margin of the water, it must be re-dropped, see Rule 20-2c (vii)(c).

It's October in Michigan, my tee shot is off the fairway in the weeds and lays at the base of a dead weed. The weed is completely brown and obviously dead. Can I take my stance such that I stand on the weed or back into it by doing so cracking the weed?

Since the weed is only brown but still attached it cannot be considered a loose impediment. However, one must also remember that a player may only "fairly" take his stance and must take, "the least intrusive course of action which results in the minimum improvement in the position or lie of the ball". If the action you described would improve the lie of your ball then you would be subject to penalty under Rule 13-2.

Would you please clarify the drop rules i.e. club lengths from cart path, red stakes hazard, and unplayable lie.

From a cart path, drop the ball within one club-length of nearest point of relief, no penalty.

From a water or lateral water hazard, drop a ball within two club-lengths of the point where the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard, adding a penalty stroke.

From an unplayable lie, drop a ball within two club-lengths of the spot where the ball lay, and add a penalty of one stroke.

Ball lands on cart path. Does ball position determine which side you drop on or do you get to pick which side of the cart path for a free drop no closer to the hole.

The spot of nearest relief is determined by the ball's location. See definition of “nearest point of relief” on page 11 of Rule booklet.

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