The issue is the proper method for marking the position of a ball to be lifted. The Note to Rule 20-1 [Lifting and Marking] states, “The position of a ball to be lifted should be marked by placing a ball-marker, a small coin or other similar object immediately behind the ball.” Decision 20-1/16 [Method Used to Mark Position of Ball] points out that, under Rule 20-1 it is necessary to physically mark the position of the ball. Therefore, reference to an existing mark on the ground does not constitute marking the position of a ball. Thus, it is not permissible to mark the position of a ball with reference to a blemish on the putting green.
The issue is how Page must proceed after the dog has run away with his ball. The applicable Rule is Rule 18-1 [Ball at Rest Moved by Outside Agency] which reads, “If a ball at rest is moved by an outside agency, there is no penalty and the ball must be replaced.” Also, according to Note 1 of this Rule, if a ball to be replaced under Rule 18 is not immediately recoverable, another ball may be substituted. Since it is impossible for Page to determine the spot where the substituted ball is to be placed, per Rule 20-3c [Placing and Replacing: Spot Not Determinable], Page must place the substituted ball as near as possible to the spot where the original ball came to rest on the putting green.
The issue is whether or not the option of dropping on the opposite margin of a lateral water hazard is available to Jones in this situation.A careful reading of Rule 26-1c [Relief for Ball in Water Hazard] reveals that, in order to take advantage of this relief option, there must be a point on the opposite margin that is equidistant to the hole from where the original ball last crossed the margin of the hazard. In the case of an ocean, there is no such equidistant point on the opposite margin!
The issue is whether the group is subject to penalty for undue delay. The Definition of “Lost Ball” and Rule 27-1c [Ball Not Found Within Five Minutes] indicate that a ball is deemed to be lost if it is not found or identified as his by the player within five minutes after the player, his side, or their caddies have begun to search for it. According to Decision 6-7/2 [Searching Ten Minutes for Lost Ball], if a player searches for a lost ball for ten minutes, he would be subject to penalty under Rule 6-7 [Undue Delay; Slow Play] for undue delay.
The issue is whether the group should be disqualified for a breach of Rule 6-8b [Procedure When Play Suspended by Committee] which states, “The players must resume play when the Committee has ordered a resumption of play.” Decision 6-8b/6 [Play Suspended by Committee; Competitor Does Not Resume Play at Time Ordered by Committee] advises, “Due to the exceptional nature of resumption of play, such minor errors are inevitable, and a penalty of disqualification is too severe. … In this case, modifying the penalty to two strokes would be appropriate.”
The issue is how many penalty strokes does Bonham incur for picking up his ball in play and not replacing it. According to Decision 18-2/2 [Ball Falling Off Tee When Stroke Just Touches It Is Picked Up and Re-Teed], when Bonham made a stroke, the ball was in play (see Definition of “Ball in Play”). When he lifted the ball, he incurred a penalty of one stroke under Rule 18-2 and was required to replace it. However, as Bonham made his next stroke from within the teeing ground (Rule 20-5), he actually played a ball under penalty of stroke and distance per Rule 27-1a. Thus, he incurs only a one stroke penalty, and the two-stroke penalty under Rule 18-2 does not apply.