September 17, 2014

Rules of the Game

QUESTION: Heather and Andy are playing in a tournament. On the second hole, Heather strokes her second shot from the fairway and it lands in the rough, close to a lateral water hazard. She declares the ball unplayable with a penalty of one stroke and drops the ball in the hazard. The dropped ball rolls into a position where it is again unplayable. She picks up her ball and goes back where she played her last stroke from- the fairway. Andy says the ball should be dropped outside the hazard to begin with. Is Andy correct?

ANSWER: When Heather dropped the ball into the hazard, the spot where the original ball crossed the margin of the water hazard could not be identified. Therefore, the only rule available under the water hazard rule for relief for the ball in a water hazard was the relief Heather conducted. Heather knows the rules. See USGA Decisions on the Rules of Golf, 2014-2015, 28/4.5

Golf clinics, which were cancelled Sept. 20, will be held on Saturday, Sept. 27, 10:30 a.m. – 12-noon. Clinics will cover individual concerns. Private lessons can be arranged by calling GMNGC (422-GOLF). Remember, the swing’s the thing and continuous improvement is what it’s all about.

By Alan Jeffery

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