On August 31, 2016

Deflecting off a maintenance vehicle

QUESTION: Carol and Dale are playing in a match play tournament. On the fourth hole, Carol strokes her tee shot. While the ball is in motion, it strikes a course maintenance vehicle and lands out of bounds. She claims the vehicle should not have been there and drops a ball near the spot where the vehicle deflected the original ball and states there is no penalty. Dale, always a gentleman, disagrees. Is Dale correct?
ANSWER: If the ball had been in bounds, it could have been played as it lay without penalty as the maintenance vehicle is an outside agency. Because the ball is now out of bounds, Carol must proceed under the ball out of bounds rules with a one stroke penalty playing the stroke from where the original ball was last played. Because she does not proceed correctly and is playing match play, she incurs a loss of hole. Dale is correct. See USGA Decisions on the Rules of Golf, 2016-2017, 20-7/1.
Golf clinics continue Saturday mornings, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Private lessons can also be arranged by calling GMNGC, 422-GOLF. Remember, the swing’s the thing and continuous improvement is what it’s all about.

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