2014 Rules of the Week Archive

The Mississippi Golf Association sends an email on the Monday of every week with a Rules question. On the following Monday the answer to the past week is given and a new question is asked. In case you would like to review past questions, questions and answers will be posted here on the website. Hopefully this will help you prepare for your upcoming tournament season! Best of luck!

 

If you are an MGA member and are interested in receiving this email, please send your request to missgolf@missgolf.org. We would be happy to add you to the recipient list. 


January 6, 2014

A competitor moves a tee-marker and then makes his stroke from the teeing ground. In which of the following instances does he incur a penalty of disqualification? 

A. Intenionally kicking it or striking it with a club.
B. As a result of falling over the tee marker
C. Because, in his view, the tee-markers were aimed in the wrong direction.
 
Answer: C. Because, in his view, the tee-markers were aimed in the wrong direction. Decision 11-2/2

January 13, 2014

In which of the following would a competitor incur a penalty of one stroke if his ball were accidentally moved in the process of marking its position?
A. The placement of the ball-marker causes the ball to move
B. His hand with the coin in it causes the ball to move
C. He drops the ball-marker onto the ball from a short distance above the ball
 
Answer: C. He drops the ball-marker onto the ball from a short distance above the ball. Decision 20-1/15

January 20, 2014

Before playing a ball in a bunker, a player takes a firm stance in another part of the bunker away from where his ball lies and makes several practice swings with a club not touching the sand. What is the ruling?

A. There is no penalty unless his ball was to return to the area where the stance was taken for the practice swings
B. There is no penalty because the club did not touch sand
C. There is a penalty of two strokes for testing the condition of the hazard
 
Answer: B. There is no penalty because the club did not touch sand. Decision 13-4/0.5

January 27, 2014

A competitor's ball strikes a tree and embeds in its own pitch-mark in the fairway. He lifts and drops the ball properly under the embedded ball Rule. Before the ball reaches the ground, it comes to rest in a small branch of the tree from which he plays the ball. What is the ruling?

A. There is no penalty
B. There is a penalty of one stroke
C. There is a penalty of two strokes
 
Answer: A. There is no penalty. Decision 20-2b/1

February 3, 2014

A competitor's ball lies in a water hazard. Before he takes his stance to play the ball, he takes a practice swing, touching the ground with his club that incidentally removes loose impediments near his ball. He also breaks the branch of a small shrub with his hand, improving the area of his intended swing. What is the ruling?

A. There is a total penalty of two strokes
B. There is a total penalty of four strokes
C. There is a total penalty of six strokes
 
Answer: B. There is a total penalty of four strokes. Decision 13-4/28

February 10, 2014

A competitor's ball lies near a vary large stone that intervenes on his line of play but does not interfere with his stance or the area of his intended swing. He enlists the help of several fellow competitors, moves the stone and plays the ball as it lies. The stone was not solidly embedded. What is the ruling?

A. There is no penalty
B. There is a penalty of one stroke
C. There is a penalty of two strokes
 
Answer: A. There is no penalty. Decision 23-1/2

February 17, 2014

A competitor removes the flagstick and places it on the putting green near the hole. After the competitor putts, his fellow competitor sees that the competitors ball in motion might strike the unattended flagstick. The fellow competitor picks up the flagstick before the ball reaches it, allowing the ball to roll beyond where the removed flagstick had been placed. What is the ruling?

A. There is no penalty
B. The fellow-competitor incurs a penalty of two strokes
C. The competitor incurs a penalty of two strokes
 
Answer: A. There is no penalty. Decision 17-1/7

February 24, 2014

Uncertain whether his ball lies in a hole made by a burrowing animal, a competitor announces that he will play a second ball and wishes to score with that ball. He plays the original ball as it lies onto the green; the second ball is played according to the abnormal ground conditions Rule but is struck into the water hazard. He picks up the second ball after several strokes in the water hazard, scores six with the original ball and completes his round. The Committee determines that the original ball lay in a hole made by a burrowing animal and that he was entitled to relief. What does the competitor score for the hole?

A. 6
B. 8
C. He is disqualified
 
Answer: C. He is disqualified. Decision 3-3/8

March 3, 2014

A fellow-competitor by mistake plays a competitor's ball in the rough, altering the original lie. Neither the original lie nor the spot where the ball lay is known. What is the ruling?

A. A ball must be dropped as near as possible to the spot where the original ball lay but not nearer the hole.
B. A ball must be placed in the nearest lie most similar to the original lie that is not more than one club-length from the original lie but not nearer the hole
C. The original ball must be placed in the nearest lie most similar to the original lie that is not more than one club-length from the original lie but not nearer the hole.
 
Answer: A. A ball must be dropped as near as possible to the spot where the original ball lay but not nearer the hole. Decision 20-3b/5

March 10, 2014

Having struck his tee shot in the direction of some trees bordering a water hazard, a competitor briefly searches for his ball in the hazard but does not find it. Without knowledge or virtual certainty that his ball lies in the hazard, he drops a ball behind the hazard (about 55-yards forward of the teeing ground) according to the water hazard Rule and plays it. His original ball is then found inside the hazard within five minutes of beginning search. What is the ruling?

A. There is no penalty; the original ball remains the ball in play
B. There is a penalty of one stroke according to the lost ball Rule and an additional penalty of two strokes for a breach of that Rule; the original ball is lost and the ball dropped under the water hazard Rule is in play
C. There is a penalty of one stroke according to the lost ball Rule and an additional penalty of two strokes for serious breach of that Rule; he must abandon both balls previously played, return to the teeing ground and put a ball in play
 
Answer: C. There is a penalty of one stroke according to the lost ball Rule and an additional penalty of two strokes for a serious breach of that Rule; he must abandon both balls previously played, return to the teeing ground and put a ball into play. Decision 26-1/4

March 17, 2014

In a 54-hole event, a competitor returns a score card for the first round that is incorrect because he incurred a penalty that he was unaware of at the time. His marker, a fellow-competitor, was aware of the penalty but nevertheless signed the score card. The Committee becomes aware of the incorrect score card during the second round. What is the ruling?

A. Both the competitor and the fellow competitor are disqualified
B. The competitor is disqualified; the marker incurs no penalty
C. Because the competitor was unaware of the penalty incurred during the first round and play began the seecond round, no penalty may be imposed.
 
Answer: A. Both the competitor and the fellow-competitor are disqualified. Decision 6-6a/5

March 24, 2014

Which of the following is permitted during a stipulated round provided that play is not unduly delayed?

A. During the play of a hole, making a practice stroke at a plastic ball
B.Taking a practice swingat any place provided the Rules are not beached
C. Between the play of two holes, making a full-9 iron stroke into the driving range with a range ball that was lying near the next teeing ground
 
Answer: A. Both the competitor and the fellow-competitor are disqualified. Decision 6-6a/5

March 31, 2014
A competitor plays his ball from a bunker and the ball comes to rest in another bunker on the other side of the green. Before leaving the first bunker, he smoothes the footprints that he made for the shot. After playing out of the second bunker, his ball came to rest in the first bunker. What is the ruling?
A. There is no penalty
B. There is a penalty of two strokes if the ball comes to rest in the smoothed area
C. There is a penalty of two strokes for testing the condition of the first bunker
 
Answer: A. There is no penalty. Decision 13-4/38

April 7, 2014

For the purposes of measuring under the Rules when it is required to drop a ball, the competitor may use any club he has selected for the round. He may also borrow a club for measuring from anyone. If he borrows a club, measures with the borrowed club, drops a ball and plays it, he incurs no penalty provided that:
A. He does not gain an advantage from using the borrowed club
B. He does not gain a significant advantage from using the borrowed club
C. The same outcome could have been achieved with one of the player's own clubs selected for that round. 

 
Answer: C. The same outcome could have been achieved with one of the player's own clubs selected for that round.

April 14, 2014

Without the competitor's authority, a fellow-competitor removes the flagstick from the hole and the competitor's ball that was resting against the flagstick but not holed moves away from the hole. What is the ruling?A. There is no penalty to anyone; the ball must be played as it lies away from the hole
B. There is no penalty to anyone and the ball must be replaced against the flagstick; the competitor may then move or remove the flagstick
C. The fellow-competitor incurs a penalty of one stroke and the ball must be replaced against the flagstick; the competitor may then move or remove the flagstick

 

Answer: B. There is no penalty to anyone and the ball must be replaced against the flagstick; the competitor may then move or remove the flagstick. Decision 17-4/3.


April 21, 2014

A competitor's ball is played into a lateral water hazard. Without searching for the original ball, he and his group use their best judgment to agree on the point where the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard. Using that point for reference, he drops a ball under penalty of one stroke according to the later water hazard Rule. Before the dropped ball is played, his coach points out the location of the original ball, which crossed the margin nearly 25-yards forward of where the competitor estimated. He abandons the dropped ball, drops the original ball in the correct place and plays it. What is the ruling?

 

A. There is a penalty of one stroke under the lateral water hazard Rule
B. There is a total penalty of three strokes
C. He is disqualified
 
Answer: A. There is a penalty of one stroke under the lateral water hazard Rule. Decisions 20-6/4 and 26-1/16

April 28, 2014

Before the Committee suspends play because of bad weather, a competitor searches for his ball for two minutes. Which of the following is correct?

A. He may not continue to search during the suspension
B. He may continue to search during the suspension; the permitted total of five minutes to search for his ball does not apply during a suspension
C. He may continue to search during the suspension, but he is still only permitted a total of five minutes to search for his ball 
 
Answer: C. He may continue to search during the suspension, but he is still only permitted a total of five minutes to search for his ball. Decision 27/1.5

May 5, 2014

In match play, an opponent must not attend the flagstick without the player's authority while the player is making a stroke from off the putting green" True or False?

A. True
B. False
 
Answer: A. True

May 12, 2014

A fellow competitor purposely steps on a competitor's line of putt with the intention of damaging it. His action results in a deep footprint or spike mark. What is the ruling?
A. The fellow-competitor is in breach of Rule 1-2 and incurs a penalty of two strokes unless the Committee decides to impose a penalty of disqualification; in equity, the competitor may restore the line to its previous condition
B. The fellow-competitor is in breach of Rule 1-2 and incurs a penalty of disqualification; only a Committee Member may restore the line to its previous condition; if a Committee member is not available within a reasonable time the competitor may do so
C. There is no penalty to anyone; in equity, the competitor may restore the line to its previous condition
 
Answer: A. The fellow competitor is in breach of Rule 1-2 and incurs a penalty of two strokes unless the Committee decides to impose a penalty of disqualification; in equity, the competitor may restore the line to its previous condition.

May 19, 2014
A competitor's ball lies in heavy grass outside an area marked as ground under repair; but his stance for a reasonable stroke where his wedge is in the area. He takes relief and the ball comes to rest in a position where the condition does not interfere with his stance when using the wedge. However, the lie of the ball is such that he can reasonably use a 3-wood but his stance would be in the area. What is the ruling?
A.  He has a new situation and is entitled to relief according to the ground under repair Rule for the stroke with the 3-wood.
B. He must play the ball as it lies
C. He must re-drop the ball without penalty as he continues to have interference 
 
Answer: A. He has a new situation and is entitled to relief according to the ground under repair Rule for the stroke with the 3-wood. Decision 20-c/0.8

May 26, 2014
Unaware that his ball was in a small area of ground under repair, a competitor chips it onto a putting green. Then, noticing the ground under repair marking, he lifts the ball, drops it according to the ground under repair Rule and plays it. What is the ruling?
A.  There is no penalty and the ball must be played as it lies
B. There is a penalty of two strokes and the ball must be played as it lies
C. There is a penalty of two strokes and the ball must be replaced where it originally lay on the putting green before he lifted it to take ground under repair relief 
 
Answer: B. There is a penalty of two strokes and the ball must be played as it lies. Decision 18-2a/8

June 2, 2014
A fellow-competitor's ball lies near and to the side of a competitor's ball in the fairway. It is the competitor's turn to play and he asks that the ball of the fellow competitor be lifted because it catches his eye, constituting mental interference. What is the ruling?
A.  The competitor has the option to lift his ball
B. The ball may not be lifted
C. The ball must be lifted
 
Answer: C. The ball must be lifted. Decision 22/1

June 9, 2014
As his tee shot was struck in the direction of trees and tall grass, a competitor plays a provisional ball. Walking toward the area where his ball might be lost, he meets his coach who tells him that the area of trees and tall grass is marked as a water hazard and questions why he played the second ball from the teeing ground. He tells the coach that the water hazard markings were not visible from the teeing ground and that he played a provisional ball for a ball lost outside a water hazard. The ball is not found. What is the ruling?
A.  He is not entitled to play a provisional ball in this situation; thus the second ball from the teeing ground becomes the ball in play under penalty of stroke and distance
B. If there is knowledge or virtual certainty that the ball is lost in the water hazard, he must abandon the provisional ball and may proceed under the water hazard Rule
C. If there is not knowledge or virtual certainty that the ball is lost in the water hazard, he must abandon the provisional ball, return to the teeing ground and put a ball into play under the lost ball Rule
 
Answer: B. If there is knowledge or virtual certainty that the ball is lost in the water hazard, he must abandon the provisional ball and may proceed under water hazard Rule. Rule 27-2c

June 16, 2014
A water hazard (yellow lines and stakes) lies between the competitor's ball and the putting green. He plays the ball over both the hazard and the putting green into a bunker. The then plays the ball back over the putting green into the water hazard where it is not playable. He wishes to drop a ball outside the water hazard under penalty of one stroke. Which of the following is NOT correct?
A.  Drop a ball within two club-lengths of the spot where the original ball last crossed the margin of the hazard but not nearer the hole
B. Keep the point at which the original ball last crossed the margin of the hazard directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped
C. Drop a ball in the bunker at the spot where his last shot was played
 
Answer: A. Drop a ball within two club-lengths of the spot where the original ball last crossed the margin of the hazard but not nearer the hole. Decision 26-1/6

June 23, 2014
A competitor's ball comes to rest in an area marked as ground under repair from which play is prohibited under penalty of two strokes. Uncertain of the proper procedure to follow, he announces that he will play a second ball following the procedures of the ground under repair Rule and that he wishes to score with the original ball if the Rules permit. He plays the original ball as it lies inside the area of ground under repair. He then drops the second ball two club-lengths from the nearest point of relief as determined by the ground under repair Rule no nearer the hole and plays it from there. He properly reports to the Committee following his round. What is the ruling?
A.  The score with the second ball counts; there is no penalty
B. The score with the original ball counts with a penalty of two strokes
C. The score with the second ball counts with a penalty of two strokes
 
Answer: B. The score with the original ball counts with a penalty of two strokes.  Decision 3-3/0.5

June 30, 2014
A competitor's ball comes to rest inside a small water hazard near a live alligator. There is no point inside the hazard not near the alligator that is not nearer the hole than the position of the ball. What is the ruling? 
A. His only option is to take relief outside the water hazard, with a penalty of one stroke, under the water hazard Rule
B. In equity, he may drop a ball, without penalty, on the nearest spot within the hazard that is not dangerous even if this is nearer the hole than where the original ball lies.
C. In equity, he may drop a ball, under penalty of one stroke, outside the hazard, keeping the point where the original ball lay between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped. 
 
Answer: C. In equity, he may drop a ball, under penalty of one stroke, outside the hazard keeping the point where the original ball lay between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped.

July 7, 2014
Because of heavy rain, a competitor refuses to start at the appointed time and is disqualified. A second competitor picks up because of the rain after completing nine holes of the scheduled 18-hole round of a 54-hole event. He is also disqualified. Later in the day, the Committee cancels the round because the course is unplayable and reschedules it for the next day. Each of the competitors asks that they may be allowed to play the next day without penalty. What is the ruling?
A. All penalties are cancelled and both competitors may play the next day
B. The first competitor is disqualified; the second competitor may play the next day
C. The second competitor is disqualified; the first competitor may play the next day
 
Answer: A. All penalties are cancelled and both competitors may play the next day. Decision 33-2d/3

July 14, 2014
In which of the following does the competitor NOT incur a penalty?
A. Holing a short putt by using a motion similar to that of a shot in the billiards using the bottom of the clubhead
B. Playing a right-handed stroke with the back of a left-handed club
C. Holing a short putt using the handle end of the putter
 
Answer: B. Playing a right-handed stroke with the back of a left-handed club. Decisions 14-1, 14-1/2, and 14-1/3

July 21, 2014
Prior to striking his first putt, a competitor notices that the hole is damaged other than by impact of a ball. The proper dimensions of the hole have not materially changed and a Committee Member is not readily available. What is the ruling?
A. In equity, he may repair any damage to the hole without penalty
B. He should discontinue play and await a Committee member
C. He must continue play without repairing the hole
 
Answer: C. He must continue play without repairing the hole. Decision 15-1a/6

July 28, 2014
Information on matters such as the position of a hazard in play is not advice. True or False?
A. True
B. False
 
Answer: A. True

August 4, 2014
A competitor's ball lies in some bushes and he fairly takes his stance, addressing the ball. With the intention of making a stroke, he starts his backswing. Before reaching the top of his backswing, his club strikes and breaks a small branch that results in an improvement to his area of intended swing, whereupon he discontinues his backswing. What is the ruling?
A. There is no penalty because the player fairly took his stance
B. There is no penalty because the branch was broken during backswing for the stroke
C. There is a penalty of two strokes
 
Answer: C. There is a penalty of two strokes. Decision 13-2/14.5

August 11, 2014
A competitor plays a provisional ball. He searches for the original ball for about two minutes and walks forward to play the provisional ball that is in a poor lie. He deems it unplayable and drops it according to the unplayable ball Rule. Before he plays the dropped ball and within the five-minute search period, a fellow competitor finds the original ball and lifts it without the competitor's authority believing that the competitor was intent on playing the provisional. What is the ruling?
A. When the provisional ball was deemed unplayable and dropped closer to the hole than where the original ball was found, it became the ball in play.
B. When the provisional ball was deemed unplayable and dropped closer to the hole than where the original ball was likely to be, it became the ball in play
C. Since the original ball was found within five minutes of search and the player had not made a stroke with the provisional ball nearer the hole than where the original ball was likely to be, the original ball remained the ball in play and must be replaced without penalty to anyone; the provisional ball must be abandoned.
 
Answer: C. Since the original ball was found within five minutes of search and the player had not made a stroke with the provisional ball nearer the hole than where the original ball was likely to be, the original ball remained the ball in play and must be replaced without penalty to anyone; the provisional ball must be abandoned.  Decision 27-2b/6.5

August 18, 2014
After searching for his tee shot for nearly two minutes, a competitor returns to the teeing ground and tees another ball preparing to play under lost ball Rule. Before he can play his ball, his coach finds a ball within the five-minute search period that he believes is the competitor's ball. Neither the coach nor the competitor is able to identify it as his ball before the search period has elapsed. What is the ruling?
A. The competitor is allowed enough time to reach the area in order to identify the ball; if the competitor identifies the ball as his, it is not a "lost ball" even though the identification takes place after the five-minute search period has elapsed.
B. Since the player has teed another ball under the lost ball Rule, the original ball is lost under penalty of stroke and distance; the original ball must be abandoned and the teed ball played.
C. If the competitor is unable to identify the ball as his before the five-minute search period has elapsed, the original ball is lost and the player must continue play under the lost ball Rule.
 
Answer: A. the competitor is allowed enough time to reach the area in order to identify the ball; if the competitor identifies the ball as his, it is not a "lost ball" even though the identification takes place after the five-minute period has elapsed.  Decision 27/5.5

August 25, 2014

A gust of wind blows a plastic cup containing the competitor's ball from where it lay at rest in the fairway into the rough. What is the ruling?
A. The ball must be dropped as near as possible to the spot directly under the place where it lies in the plastic cup in the rough
B. The ball must be dropped as near as possible to the spot directly under the place where it lay in the plastic cup in the fairway
C. The ball must be placed as near as possible to the spot directly under the place where it lay in the plastic cup in the fairway
 
Answer: B. The ball must be dropped as near as possible to the spot directly under the place where it lay in the plastic cup in the fairway. Decision 18-1/7

September 1, 2014

During the first round of a competition, a competitor's ball embeds in the fairway. He lifts and drops the ball. After it strikes the ground near its original position, it rolls into and comes to rest in a bunker. The ball did not roll more than two club-lengths and is not nearer the hole than its original position. He plays the ball and completes the round. During the third round of the competition, a fellow competitor questions the procedure that the competitor followed during the first round and the Committee is consulted. What is the ruling?
A. There is no penalty; the player proceeded correctly in taking relief for an embedded ball during the first round of the competition
B. There is no penalty; although the player proceeded incorrectly during the first round of the competition, a penalty may not be assessed during the third round unless he knew that he was in violation of the Rules
C. He is disqualified

 

Answer: C. He is disqualified. Rule 20-2c.


September 8, 2014

Thinking he has found his original ball buried in deep rough, a competitor by mistake lifts a stray ball and drops it within two club-lengths of where it lay according to the unplayable ball Rule. He plays the stray ball and then discovers his original ball nearby within the five-minute search period. His coach tells him that he must play the original ball since it was found within the five-minute search period. What is the ruling?
A. He incurs a penalty of two strokes for playing a wrong ball; the stray ball must be abandoned and the original ball remains the ball in play because it was found with the five minute search period.
B. The stray ball is a ball substituted without authority for the original ball and becomes the ball in play with a penalty of two strokes; the original ball must be abandoned
C. He incurs a penalty of one stroke under lost ball Rule and an additional penalty of two strokes under that Rule for playing from a wrong place; if the breach was a serious one he must correct his error or be disqualified

 

Answer: C. He incurs a penalty of one stroke under the lost ball Rule and an additional penalty of two strokes under that Rule for playing from a wrong place; if the breach was a serious one he must correct his error or be disqualified. Decision 15/13 and 28/15.


September 15, 2014

When a player has holed out and his opponent has been left with a stroke for the half, if the player thereafter incurs a penalty, the hole is halved. True or False?
A. True
B. False

 

Answer: A. True


September 22, 2014

A competitor blades a short chip shot from the front fringe of the putting green and, after a five-minute search period, the ball (Ball A) is lost in a soft, mushy area just over the putting green. He returns to the front fringe and drops a ball (ball B) under the lost ball Rule. After he plays it onto the putting green, a team mate points out that the original ball (ball A) was lost in an area that is marked as ground under repair. He lifts ball B, returns to the soft, mushy area, drops another ball (ball C) according to the ball lost in ground under repair Rule and plays it onto the putting green. What is the ruling?

A. There is no penalty
B. Ball C was incorrectly substituted and played from a wrong place but remains in play; there is a total penalty of three strokes, including the penalty for lost ball
C. Ball C was incorrectly substituted and played from a wrong place; the player must correct his error by canceling the stroke with the ball C and placing ball B on the spot from which it was lifted, incurring only the penalty for lost ball
 
Answer: B. Ball C was incorrectly substituted and played from a wrong place but remains in play; there is a total penalty of three strokes, including the penalty for lost ball.

September 29, 2014
A competitor's ball lies in a bunker. He makes a stroke and the ball fails to clear the bunker lip, rolls down the face and comes to rest against his foot. He removes his foot and the ball rolls further away. What is the ruling?
A. There is no penalty for moving the ball while searching in a water hazard
B. There is a penalty of one stroke for moving the ball; he may replace the ball and play it or, without additional penalty, proceed under the water hazard Rule
C. There is a penalty of one stroke for moving the ball; he may replace the ball and play it or, without replacing it, proceed under the water hazard Rule incurring an additional penalty stroke
 
Answer: A. There is a penalty of one stroke for accidental deflection; the ball must be replaced where it came to rest against his foot. Decision 19-2/1

October 6, 2014

A competitor is searching for his ball that is thought to lie in a water hazard. He probes for it in water with a club and accidentally moves it with his foot where it lay in long grass. What is the ruling?

A.There is no penalty for moving the ball while searching in a water hazard
B. There is a penalty of one stroke for moving the ball; he may replace the ball and play it or, without additional penalty, proceed under the water hazard Rule
C. There is a penalty of one stroke for moving the ball; he may replace the ball and play it or, without replacing it, proceed under the water hazard Rule incurring an additional penalty stroke
 
Answer: C. There is a penalty of one stroke for moving the ball; he may replace the ball and play it, or, without replacing it, proceed under the water hazard Rule incurring an additional penalty stroke. Decision 12-1/5

October 13, 2014

A club is damaged in the normal course of play; which is NOT correct?
A. It may be replaced with any club even if not unfit for play
B. It may be repaired without unduly delaying play
C. It may be used in its damaged state for the remainder of the stipulated round

 

Answer: A. It may be replaced with any club even if not unfit for play.  Rule 4-3a


October 20, 2014

In the conditions of competition for a team event with individual competition, the Committee has NOT authorized each team to appoint an assistant coach who may give advice to members of that team under the Note to the advice Rule. During a round, a non-playing assistant coach tells a competitor who is a member of his team what club others have been using at the tee of the 4th hole, which is a par-3, and how to swing the club. The competitor takes no action to stop this irregular procedure by the assistant coach, but does not use the information that was provided. What is the ruling?

A.  There is no penalty
B. In equity, since he took no action to stop this irregular procedure, he should incur a penalty of two strokes
C. He is disqualified
 
Answer: B. In equity, since he took no action to stop this irregular procedure, he should incur a penalty of two strokes. Decision 8-1/24

October 27, 2014

Immediately before a suspension of play, a competitor strikes a tee shot onto the fringe of the putting green of a par-3 hole. The ball was at rest and visible to all the competitors in the group. After resumption of play, the ball was found in a bunker to the rear of the green. What is the ruling?

A. The original ball must be played as it lies in the bunker
B. The original ball must be lifted and dropped, without penalty, near as possible to the spot from which it was moved but not in a hazard or on a putting green
C. The spot where the original ball lay must be estimated and either the original ball or a substituted ball must be placed, without penalty, on the estimated spot
 
Correct Answer: C. The spot where the original ball lay must be estimated and either the original ball or a substituted ball must be placed, without penalty, on the estimated spot.

November 3, 2015

A group of competitors find that one tee-marker is missing from the teeing ground of the 17th hole. They estimate the area of the teeing ground based on the remaining marker, play from the place they judge to be the teeing ground, complete the round and return their scorecards. What is the ruling?

A. If the Committee is satisfied that the competitors did not gain an advantage in playing from the place they judged the teeing ground, in equity, there is no penalty
B. Each competitor incurs a penalty of two strokes applied to the 17th hole
C. The competitors are disqualified
 
Correct Answer: A. If the Committee is satisfied that the competitors did not gain an advantage in playing from the place they judged the teeing ground, in equity, there is no penalty. (Decision 11-4b/2)

November 10, 2015

After accidentally stepping on his ball in the rough and altering the lie of the ball, a competitor drops the ball as near as possible to where the ball originally lay and plays it. The original lie is known; the spot where the ball lay is unknown. What is the ruling?

A. There is no penalty
B. There is a penalty of two strokes
C. There is a total penalty of three strokes
 
Correct Answer: B. There is a penalty of two strokes. (Decisions 18-2a/21.3 and 20-3b/4)

November 17, 2015

The teeing ground and the putting green of the hole being played are designated as through the green. True or False?

A. True
B. False
 
Correct Answer: False

November 24, 2015

A competitor lifts his ball on the putting green and sets it aside. A fellow competitor putts and his ball strikes the competitor's ball. What is the ruling?

A. There is no penalty to either player; the competitor must replace his ball on the spot from which it was lifted and the fellow-competitor must play his ball as it lies
B. The fellow-competitor incurs a penalty of two strokes; the competitor must replace his ball on the spot from which it was lifted and the fellow-competitor must play his ball as it lies
C. The fellow-competitor incurs a penalty of two strokes; the competitor must replace his ball on the spot from which it was lifted and the fellow competitor must replace his ball, cancel the stroke and replay it
 
Correct Answer: A. There is no penalty to either player; the competitor must replace his ball on the spot from which it was lifted and the fellow competitor must play his ball as it lies. (Decision 19-5/1)

December 1, 2015

There is an insect on a competitor's ball in a bunker. Before playing the shot, he waves his hand to encourage the insect to move. He does not touch the ground or move another loose impediment in the bunker, but the insect flies away. What is the ruling?

A. The insect is a loose impediment; however, there is no penalty provided he has not touched the insect
B. The insect is a loose impediment that may not be touched or moved; there is a penalty of one stroke
C. The insect is a loose impediment that may not be touched or moved; there is a penalty of two strokes
 
Correct Answer: A. The insect is a loose impediment; however, there is no penalty provided he has not touched the insect. (Decision 23-1/5.5)

December 8, 2015

A competitor's ball lies in a fairway in the middle of a group of pine cones. In order to avoid a possible penalty for moving his ball, the competitor asks a fellow competitor to remove one of the pine cones that is resting against the ball. What is the ruling?

A. There is no penalty
B. The competitor incurs a penalty of one stroke
C. The action of the competitor is so contrary to the spirit of the game that he should be disqualified
 
Correct Answer: C. The action of the competitor is so contrary to the spirit of the game that he should be disqualified. (Decision 33-7/7)

December 15, 2015

A competitor's ball lies in a bunker that is completely covered with casual water. He takes relief and drops a ball in a bunker at a spot affording maximum available relief. He then decides that he would have been better off to proceed under the 2nd option of outside the bunker. What is the ruling?

A. He must play the ball as it lies
B. He must play the ball as it lies or take relief under the unplayable ball Rule
C. He may take relief under the 2nd option of the casual water Rule
 
Correct Answer: B. He must play the ball as it lies or take relief under the unplayable ball Rule. (Decision 25-1b/9)

December 22, 2015

At the 3rd hole of the first round of a 54-hole event, a competitor plays a wrong ball from a hazard and discovers his error after playing it again outside the hazard. He corrects his error by playing the correct ball, reports the facts to a Committee member and is told by mistake that there is no penalty because the wrong ball was played from a hazard. During the second round, the Committee retrospectively adds two penalty strokes to his first round score at the 3rd hole but does not disqualify him for a scorecard violation. At the request of the team coach, the Committee reviews its decision. What is the ruling?

A. There should be no penalty; the decision is reversed and the score returned by the player on the scorecard stands
B. The decision to add the two penalty strokes is sustained
C. The player is disqualified for a scorecard violation
 
Correct Answer: B. The decision to add the two penalty strokes is sustained. (Decision 34-3/1)

December 29, 2015

A 54-hole event was scheduled for 18-holes on each of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. After completion of Thursday's round, severe weather set in and the second round was cancelled on Friday morning. On Friday afternoon, conditions improved and several competitors played a few holes on the course that day. What is the ruling? 

A. There is no penalty as the round for Friday was cancelled. 
B. Each competitor incurs a penalty of two strokes for practicing on the competition course between rounds. 
C. Each of the competitors is disqualified for practicing on the competition course between rounds. 
 
Correct Answer: Answer: C (Decision 7-1b/6)