Rules of the Game

By Alan Jeffery

QUESTION:  The following situation recently took place at GMNGC.  Marcia and Pat are playing in a tournament.  On the 3rd hole, Pat, who was away, strokes her ball onto the green and it rests a few feet from the hole.  Marcia uses a 7 iron and strokes her ball onto the green.  Her ball runs toward the flagstick and hits Pat’s ball.  Pat’s ball moves to a different position and Marcia’s ball goes into the hole.  Marcia, unsure what to do, asks Pat what balls, if any, should be replaced.  Pat says Marcia’s ball is considered holed and Pat’s ball replaced to its original position.  Is Pat correct?

ANSWER:  Rule 18-5 states,  “ If a ball in play and at rest is moved by another ball in motion after a stroke, it must be replaced.”  Rule 19-4 states, “If player’s ball in motion after a stroke is deflected or stopped by a ball in play and at rest, the player must play the ball as it lies.” There is no penalty unless both balls lay on the green prior to the stroke. Pat is correct.  See USGA Decisions On The Rules of Golf, 2014-2015, Rules 18-5 and 19-4.

Golf clinics continue on Saturday mornings, 10:30-12:00.  I continue to work on individual concerns.  Private lessons can also be arranged by calling me at GMMGC  (422-GOLF).  Remember, the swing’s the thing and continuous improvement is what it’s all about.

Alan Jeffery is a golf professional at GMNGC.

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