2017 Rules "Wrap" Up | Oregon Golf Association

2017 Rules "Wrap" Up

By OGA Senior Rules Officials: Pete Scholz and Terry McEvilly
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With 2018 right around the corner, many golfers are asking if there are any changes to the Rules for next year.  You will be happy to hear that there will not be any changes and the current Rules of Golf will continue to govern not only in Oregon, but throughout the U.S. and the rest of the world. 

However, 2019 will be pivotal to the game of golf as proposed changes are on the table as the USGA and R&A finish up work on a Rules modernization project -- work that has been on-going during the last five years.  We are grateful for their diligence in maintaining the traditions and integrity of the game when making the necessary changes. 

As for 2018, the focus of this article and Rules workshops in the spring will continue to be the current Rules.  In an effort to familiarize you with the changes that will go into effect January 1, 2019, we are planning to host several workshops in the fall of 2018 and the winter/early spring of 2019 regarding the new Rules. Additionally, towards the end of 2018 we will begin to shift the focus of our article towards the new code.  Sneak peek: Many of the changes will help with pace of play. “YES!”

Thank you for your continued interest in the Rules of Golf and your support of the Oregon Golf Association and Oregon Junior Golf.  We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a joyful New Year.

Pete and Terry

After presenting you with 110 true/false questions on the Rules this past year, as our Christmas gift to you, we break from the normal routine and ask just one question.

Question: What is Terry and Pete’s score for the hole?  (Stroke play)

While at the first tee, before either player makes a stroke to begin their round, Terry asks Pete what club he is going to use.  Pete replies “three wood”.  Terry then selects a driver from his bag and makes a stroke.  His ball comes to rest in the fairway.  Pete then makes his first stroke from the teeing ground and his ball is headed toward a lateral water hazard surrounded by extreme rough.  Unsure if he will be able to find his ball, Pete announces that he will play a provisional ball.  He hits the provisional ball towards the same area as the original and proceeds from the teeing ground to begin his search.

Meanwhile, as Terry is preparing to make his next stroke from the fairway, he sets the club down behind the ball, accidentally causing it to move.  The ball rolls into a nearby divot.  Unsure of where to play his next shot from, he decides to play the ball as it lies in the divot.  It heads toward an area of rough near the green.  Terry is uncertain about where his ball came to rest.  Intending to play a provisional, ball he drops another ball (Ball B) without announcing it as a provisional ball.  He plays Ball B onto the green. 

Pete finds both his original ball and the provisional ball in shallow water inside the margin of the water hazard.  He picks up both balls and then decides to take relief from the hazard by dropping a ball within two club-lengths of where the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard.  His next stroke comes to rest short of the green. 

Terry finds his original ball (Ball A) in the rough but wishes to continue with Ball B.  Uncertain of the proper procedure, he decides to play both balls.  He one-putts Ball B first and then takes two strokes to hole Ball A.  Pete then chips his ball onto the green, but in doing so, his club strikes the ball twice.  He removes the flagstick and places it on the fringe.  His putt is offline and strikes the flagstick.  He then holes the ball with his next stroke from where it was stopped by the flagstick.

Answer:  In Red

Terry = 7 strokes.  Pete = 9 strokes


While at the first tee, before either player makes a stroke to begin their round, Terry asks Pete what club he is going to use.  Pete replies “three wood”.  Since neither player had started their round there is no penalty.  Asking and giving such advice during a round is a breach of Rule 8.

And now on to the playing of the hole.  There is a lot to keep track of, so we will go through the hole player by player, rather than stroke by stroke.

Terry then selects a driver from his bag and makes a stroke. Terry lies 1. His ball comes to rest in the fairway. As Terry is preparing to make his next stroke from the fairway, he sets the club down behind the ball, accidentally causing it to move and roll into a nearby divot. Terry incurs one penalty stroke for causing his ball to move other than by a stroke and he now lies two. Unsure of where to play his next shot from, he decides to play the ball as it lies in the divot. Terry was required to replace the moved ball on the original spot.  By failing to replace the ball, Terry has played from a wrong place which cost him a second penalty stroke in addition to the stroke made from the divot.  Terry now lies four. The shot from the divot heads toward an area of rough near the green. Terry is uncertain about where his ball came to rest.  Intending to play a provisional ball, he drops another ball (Ball B) without announcing it as a provisional ball.  He plays Ball B onto the green.  By failing to declare Ball B as a provisional, Terry has put another ball into play under the penalty of stroke and distance and his original ball (Ball A) is lost and no longer in play.  Terry now lies six, with Ball B being the ball in play.  Any further strokes with Ball A would be strokes at a wrong ball.  Terry finds his original ball (Ball A) in the rough but wishes to continue with Ball B. Uncertain of the proper procedure, he decides to play both balls. Only in stroke play can a player who is unsure of the proper procedure complete the hole with two balls. The Rule will then decide which ball the player must score with.  He one-putts Ball B first and then takes two strokes to hole Ball A. When a player decides to invoke Rule 3-3 by playing two balls, the order in which the balls are played is at the player’s option.  Additionally, the proper procedure is for the player to declare which ball he wishes to count before making a stroke at either ball. Terry’s Ball B is holed in 7 strokes. As Terry had invoked Rule 3-3, he incurs no penalty from playing a wrong ball (Ball A).

Pete then makes his first stroke from the teeing ground and his ball is headed toward a lateral water hazard surrounded by extreme rough.  Unsure if he will be able to find his ball, Pete announces that he will play a provisional ball.  Pete is allowed to play a provisional ball in this circumstance because he believes his ball may be lost in the rough outside of the lateral water hazard.  If the only place that a ball could be lost is inside of a water hazard, a player is not permitted to play a provisional ball.  He hits the provisional ball into the same area as the original and proceeds from the teeing ground to begin his search.  Pete lies 1 with the original ball, but if the provisional ball becomes  the ball in play, he will lie three. Pete finds his original ball and the provisional ball in shallow water inside the margin of the water hazard.  He picks up both balls and then decides to take relief from the hazard by dropping a ball within two club-lengths of where the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard.  Because Pete’s original ball was neither lost outside of a water hazard or out of bounds, it remains the ball in play and the provisional ball must be abandoned. This would also be true if his original ball had not been found, but it was known or virtually certain that the ball was inside the hazard.  The relief from the hazard cost him one penalty stroke.  Pete lies two after the drop.   His next stroke comes to rest short of the green.  Pete now lies 3.  Pete then chips his ball onto the green, but in doing so, his club strikes the ball twice. In addition to the stroke made, Pete must add one penalty stroke for his club striking the ball more than once during a stroke.  Pete now lies 5.  He removes the flagstick and places it on the fringe.  His putt is offline and strikes the flagstick.  Pete incurs a two-stroke penalty for his ball striking a removed flagstick plus the stroke made.  He must play the ball from where it was stopped.  Pete now lies 8.  He then holes the ball with his next stroke from where it was stopped by the flagstick.  Pete’s score for the hole is a 9. 

 

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