- The issues are the number and allowable lengths of clubs that can be carried by a player during a round. Rule 4-4 [Maximum of Fourteen Clubs] advises that, “The player may not start a stipulated round with more than fourteen clubs.” Appendix II.1.c [Design of Clubs: Length] states, “The overall length of the club must be at least 18 inches … and, except for putters, must not exceed 48 inches ….”
- The issues are (a) whether a stroke was made; (b) whether a distraction can negate a stroke; (c) whether Love proceeded correctly in replacing his ball on the tee; and (d) what, if any, penalty strokes were incurred by Love when he replayed his ball from the tee. By Definition, a “stroke” is the forward movement of the club with the intention of striking at and moving the ball, so Love did make a stroke. Per Decision 1-4/1 [Player Distracted by Ball Dropped by Another Player Mis-Hits Ball] indicates that distractions are a common occurrence which players must accept. Thus, Love is not permitted to replay his stroke without penalty. According to Decision 18-2/2 [Ball Falling Off Tee When Stroke Just Touches It Is Picked Up and Re-Teed], when Love lifted his ball in play after the stroke, he incurred a one stroke penalty under Rule 18-2 [Ball at Rest Moved by Player …] and he was required to replace it. However, when Love played the ball from within the teeing ground, he actually played a ball under penalty of stroke and distance per Rule 27-1 so the two-stroke penalty for not replacing the ball under Rule 18-2 does not apply!
- The issue is whether a player can play a ball from outside the bunker under the unplayable ball Rule after having made a stroke at his ball in the bunker. According to Rule 28 [Ball Unplayable], when a ball is in a bunker, the only option that permits the player to drop outside of the bunker is that of proceeding under the stroke and distance provision of Rule 27-1, i.e., by playing a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played. In Brian’s situation, he last played his original ball with his tenth stroke from within the bunker! In fact, once Brian made his first stroke from within the bunker, it was no longer possible for him to exit the bunker by deeming his ball unplayable. Decision 28/10 [Ball Dropped Outside Bunker Under Option Requiring Drop in Bunker] mandates the penalty of disqualification for a serious breach of Rule 28 if Brian incorrectly drops and then plays his ball from outside the bunker.
- The issues are (a) whether Carl has correctly taken relief from the water hazard, and (b) whether he has committed a serious breach. In this case, Carl has mistakenly treated a water hazard as a lateral water hazard. Per Rule 26-1, Carl should have either returned to the spot in the fairway from which he last played his original ball or drop a ball behind the water hazard. Decision 26-1/11 [Water Hazard Treated as Lateral Water Hazard] indicates that Carl would (a) incur a one-stroke penalty under Rule 26-1, and (b) be penalized an additional two strokes for a serious breach of that Rule, necessitating corrective action by the player in order to avoid being disqualified.
- The issues are (a) what is the proper procedure for the player when his ball is out of bounds, and (b) what is the penalty if a player plays a ball that is out of bounds. According to Rule 27-1b [Ball Out of Bounds], “If a ball is out of bounds, the player must play a ball, under penalty of one stroke, as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played….” Decision 15/6 [Stroke Played with Ball Lying Out of Bounds] advises that a ball lying out of bounds is no longer in play and thus is a wrong ball. If Dennis plays his ball from the Sloop John B, he would incur a two-stroke penalty under Rule 15-3b for playing a wrong ball, and he would be required to proceed under Rule 27-1 incurring the additional one-stroke penalty prescribed in that Rule.