June 17, 2015

Rules of the Game

By Alan Jeffery

QUESTION: Connie and Howie are playing in a tournament. On the 9th hole, Connie strokes her ball onto the green. She marks her ball which is along Howie’s putting line. After Howie putts, she replaces the ball but does not remove the marker. Wind then moves her ball to another position. Connie picks up her ball and replaces it once more next to the marker. Howie says she has incurred an infraction. Is Howie correct?

ANSWER: A replaced ball is in play regardless of whether a marker has or has not been removed. Since Connie did not cause the ball to move and it was virtually certain the wind caused the ball to  move, the ball must be played from the new position. Howie is correct. See USGA Decisions on the Rules of Golf, 2014-2015, 20-4/1.

Golf clinics continue on Saturday mornings, 10:30-12-noon. Remember, the swing’s the thing and continuous improvement is what it’s all about.

Alan Jeffery is a golf instructor at GMNGC.

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