QUESTION: Cliff and Nancy are playing in a tournament. On the fifth hole, the tee shots of both players lie on the green. The lines of both balls toward the flagstick are different and there is doubt as to who is away. Cliff pulls the flagstick to be used in measuring distances from the hole. As he nears the hole, he inadvertently drops the flagstick which strikes his ball causing movement. Nancy says Cliff should be penalized because the dropping of the flagstick was directly responsible for the movement of the ball. Is Nancy correct?
ANSWER: The movement of the ball was not directly attributable to the measuring of the balls in that a movement had taken place without a marking. Nancy is correct. Cliff incurs a one-stroke penalty and must replace the ball, See USGA Decisions On The Rules Of Golf, 2014-2015, 18-6/2.
Saturday morning golf clinics, 10:30-12-noon will start May 9, weather permitting. This is a great time to review grip, alignment and stance in early season. For more information call GMNGC (422-GOLF). Remember, the swing’s the thing and continuous improvement is what it’s all about.