- (a) Rule 14-3 [Artificial Devices and Unusual Equipment; Abnormal Use of Equipment] states, in part, “Except as provided in the Rules, during a stipulated round the player must not use any artificial device or unusual equipment … (f) or the purpose of gauging or measuring distance ….” [Emphasis added]. Thus, Danny is not penalized for using a distance measuring device prior to commencing his round.
2 (b) Jin was entitled to lift his ball when taking relief from the cart path under Rule 24-2 [Immovable Obstruction]. However, when he decided not to proceed under that Rule, his right to lift the ball was negated so he incurred a penalty stroke under Rule 18-2 [Ball at Rest Moved by Player …] for having lifted his ball in play. See Decision 18-2/12 [Player Entitled to Relief from Condition Lifts Ball; Player Then Replaces Ball and Plays from Original Position].
- (a) According to the Note to Rule 13-4 [Ball in Hazard; Prohibited Actions], “At any time, including at address or the backward movement for the stroke, the player may touch, with a club or otherwise, any obstruction, any construction declared by the Committee to be an integral part of the course or any grass, bush, tree or other growing thing.” See Decision 13-4/30 [Grounding Club on Bridge in Water Hazard].
- (a) Decision 16/7 [Two Holes on Each Green of Nine-Hole Course] points out that a hole not in use on a green is a hole made by a greenkeeper and, thus, is ground under repair. In taking relief from the hole under Rule 25-1b(iii) [Abnormal Ground Conditions: Relief on Putting Green], Jin must lift the ball and place it, without penalty, at the nearest point of relief.
- (c) According to the Definition of “Water Hazard,” “Stakes used to define the margin of or identify a water hazard are obstructions.” Absent a Local Rule designating such stakes as immovable obstructions, Danny is entitled to take relief by removing the stake pursuant to Rule 24-1 [Movable Obstruction].
- (a) Jin damaged his club in the “normal course of play.” See Decision 4-3/1 [Meaning of Damaged Sustained in “Normal Course of Play”]. Thus, in accordance with Rule 4-3a [Damaged Clubs; Repair and Replacement: Damage in Normal Course of Play], Jin may use the club in its damaged state for the remainder of the round. He may also repair it or replace it without unduly delaying play.
- (a) Decision 17-1/5 [Holding Flagstick with One Hand and Putting with Other Hand] points out that this is permissible provided the flagstick has been removed from the hole and the ball therefore does not strike it. If the ball were to strike the flagstick, a breach of Rule 17-3a [Ball Striking Flagstick or Attendant] would occur.
- (c) According to Rule 8-1 [Advice], during a stipulated round, a player must not give advice to anyone in the competition playing on the course other than his partner, or ask for advice from anyone other than his partner or either of their caddies. When Danny asked to know what club Jin had used, he was in breach of Rule 8-1. If Jin had replied, he too would have been penalized two strokes. Fortunately for Jin, he kept quiet!
- (b) Per Rule 27-1c [Ball Not Found Within Five Minutes], Danny has a total of five minutes to find his ball. Decision 27/3 [Time Permitted for Search When Lost Ball Found and Then Lost Again] points out that, if a player finds his ball in high rough after a two-minute search and then leaves the area to get a club, but is unable to find the ball when he returns, the player is allowed only three minutes to search for his ball upon returning to the area.
- (c) Rule 13-2 [Improving Lie, Area of Intended Stance or Swing, or Line of Play] states, in part, “A player must not improve or allow to be improved … his line of play … by … eliminating irregularities of surface….” See Decision 13-2/0.5 [Meaning of “Improve” in Rule 13-2] which advises, in part, “Examples of changes that are likely to create such a potential advantage are if a player … repairs a pitch-mark through the green … five yards in front of his ball and on his line of play prior to making a stroke from off the putting green that might be affected by the pitch-mark … (e.g., a putt or a low-running shot) ….”
- (b) Although Rule 13-2 prohibits a player from improving the lie of his ball, the area of his intended stance or swing, or his line of play, the player is entitled to the lie, area of intended stance or swing, and line of play that existed when his ball came to rest. See Decision 13-2/8.5 [Player’s Lie Affected by Sand from Partner’s, Opponent’s or Fellow-Competitor’s Stroke from Bunker] which confirms that Danny was entitled to the lie, etc., that he had when his ball came to rest. Accordingly, in equity per Rule 1-4, Danny is entitled to remove the sand deposited by Jin’s stroke, and lift his ball and clean it, without penalty.
- (c) Rule 27-1c [Ball Not Found Within Five Minutes] limits the time period for searching for a ball to five minutes. However, Decision 27/4 [Time Permitted for Search of Original Ball and Provisional Ball] states, “If the two balls are so close together that, in effect, both balls would be searched for simultaneously, a total of five minutes for search is allowed. Otherwise, the player is allowed to search five minutes for each ball. Per the Definition of “Lost Ball,” Jin’s original ball and his provisional ball are both lost since neither were found or identified by Jin within the five-minute search period.
- (a) So long as the hospitality unit is in bounds, Danny is permitted to play his ball as it lies. Rule 13-1 [Ball Played as It Lies] advises, “The ball must be played as it lies, except as otherwise provided in the Rules.” In Danny’s situation, Rule 24-2 [Immovable Obstruction] is the “except as otherwise provided in the Rules” giving Danny the option to take relief from the hospitality unit, but such relief is not mandatory.
- (a) An Exception to Rule 13-4 [Ball in Hazard; Prohibited Actions] states, in part, “Provided nothing is done that constitutes testing the condition of the hazard or improves the lie of the ball, there is no penalty if the player …places his clubs in the hazard.”
- (a) Rule 27-2c [When Provisional Ball to Be Abandoned] states in part, “If the original ball is neither lost nor out of bounds, the player must abandon the provisional ball and continue playing the original ball.” Danny’s original ball was not lost because his ball was found within the five-minute search period.
- (c) See Decision 13-4/21 [Rake Thrown into Bunker Before Stroke] which points out that placing a rake in a bunker is permissible and tossing a rake into a bunker is the equivalent of placing it. If a rake thrown into a bunker moves the player’s ball, the player incurs a penalty of one stroke for causing his ball to move, and the ball must be replaced per Rule 18-2.
- (c) Rule 20-2c(v) [When to Re-Drop] advises, in part, “A dropped ball must be re-dropped, without penalty, if it … rolls and comes to rest in a position where there is interference by the condition from which relief was taken under Rule 24-2b (immovable obstruction) ….” In Jin’s situation, he was required to re-drop the ball because the ball came to rest where there was still interference by the sprinkler head. Rule 20-7 [Wrong Place] indicates that a player has played from a wrong place if he makes a stroke at his ball in play when the Rules require a dropped ball to be re-dropped.
- (c) Per Rule 13-4b [Ball in Hazard; Prohibited Actions], before making a stroke at a ball that is in a hazard, the player must not touch the ground in the hazard or water in the water hazard with his hand or a club. Also, note that a “stroke” is defined as the forwardmovement of the club made with the intention of striking at and moving the ball. Thus, touching the water during the backswing is a prohibited action occurring prior to making a stroke.