PART 3 of a 3 part Series about RULE 20-2C: Placing and Replacing
In May’s Rule of the Month article we covered properly dropping a ball in the correct location and Rule 20-2c (When to Re-Drop) was extensively covered last month. In our final installment of the series, we will focus on the acts of placing or replacing a ball (Rule 20-3 Placing and Replacing). At first glance, the Rules for placing or replacing seem simple enough but in reality can be quite difficult to follow. Often a player will incur a penalty because they have improperly dropped or placed.
Every golfer should have a good understanding of Rule 20 to successfully navigate the course without incurring additional penalties for improperly putting their ball back into play. While some of the questions this month pertain to the completion of the “drop, drop, place” procedure, others simply test your knowledge on placing or replacing your ball. Good Luck.
- Player A hits her tee shot 200 yards down the fairway.Player B hits his tee shot which strikes Player A’s ball and moves it.Rule 18-5 requires Player A to replace her ball on the spot from which it was moved.It is impossible to determine the exact spot so Player A must estimate the spot and place her ball on the estimated spot.
- A player drops a ball for relief from a lateral water hazard and the ball rolls more than two club-lengths.He re-drops the ball and it comes to rest nearer the hole than the spot where it last crossed the margin of the hazard.He must place his ball as near as possible to where it struck the course on the second drop.
- After marking and lifting her ball on the putting green the player is not able to keep the ball on the original spot when replacing it due to the slope of the green.She makes two attempts and then places the ball in the nearest spot where it will remain at rest but not closer to the hole.If she makes a stroke at a ball placed in this manner she has played from a wrong place and incurs a penalty.
- In a Four-Ball competition, a player marks and lifts his ball from the putting green and hands it to his caddie.His caddie cleans it and hands the ball to the player’s partner who then replaces it where the player had lifted it.Only the player may replace the ball in this circumstance.
- A player drops a ball for relief from a cart path and the ball rolls more than two club-lengths.He re-drops the ball as required with the same results.He lifts the ball and cleans it before placing it as near as possible to where it struck the course on the second drop.He incurs a one stroke penalty for cleaning the ball during this process.
- As a player marks her ball on the putting green with a coin, she accidentally moves the ball with her hand.She incurs a penalty for moving her ball in play.
- A player is asked by another player to mark and lift his ball due to possible interference on the line of play.As the player is in the process of marking the ball he drops his coin which strikes his ball and moves it.There is no penalty since the player was in the process of marking his ball.
- After lifting her ball from the putting green and cleaning it, the player replaces the ball leaving the ball-marker behind it.She walks to the other side of the hole to survey the putt and the ball begins to move.She must play the ball from where it came to rest in its new location.
- After dropping a ball twice under Rule 20-2c, the player places the ball as near as possible to where it struck the course on the second drop.He positions the ball so that his line on the ball indicates his line of play.This is only allowed on the putting green.
- A player drops a ball in a wrong location and it rolls more than two club-lengths.He lifts the ball and drops it in the right location and again the ball rolls more than two club-lengths.He must place the ball as near as possible to where it struck the course on the second drop.
- False.When a Rule requires a ball to be replaced on a spot but the spot is not known the ball must be dropped as near as possible to the spot it originally lay unless it was on the putting green, in which case it is placed on the estimated spot .See Rule 20-3c.
- True.When a dropped ball is re-dropped under Rule 20-2c and comes to rest in any location requiring a re-drop under Rule 20-2c it must be placed as near as possible to where it struck the course on the second drop.
- False.In this situation the player proceeded correctly as Rule 20-3d requires two attempts to be made when a ball will not remain on the spot.After two attempts the player must find the nearest location, not nearer the hole, where the ball will remain at rest.
- False.Under Rule 20-3a the ball may be replaced by the player or his partner.Additionally, if the player authorizes another person to lift the ball, (e.g. caddie) the other person may also replace the ball.
- False.A ball may always be cleaned when lifted under a Rule except in the following circumstances--if it is unfit for play (Rule 5-3), or for identification (Rule 12-2), in which case it may be cleaned but only to the extent necessary for the identification.Also, the ball must not be cleaned under Rule 22 when it is lifted because it interferes or assists another player unless it was lifted from the putting green.
- False. At any time a player is marking or re-moving a ball marker and the ball is moved accidentally there is no penalty provided the movement of the ball is directly attributable to the marking process.See Rule 20-3a. and Answer #7 for further clarity.
- False.In this case the coin was accidentally dropped and thus the movement was not directly attributable to the act of marking the ball’s position.If the player had bumped the ball with the coin while it was still in his hand, the movement of the ball would be considered directly attributable to the marking process.Decision 20-1/15 provides further clarification of the meaning of directly attributable.
- True. Under Rule 20-4, a ball is in play as soon as the player drops, places or replaces it.In this case, the ball was in play regardless of if the coin marking its position is removed or not.As this player did nothing to cause the ball to move she must play it from its new location even though the ball marker is not lifted.
- False. A player who is required to place or replace a ball may always position it as he sees fit.
- False. In this situation, many players proceed incorrectly by placing the ball after the second drop.However, as the ball was first dropped in a wrong location it must be lifted and dropped again in the proper spot.The first drop is irrelevant when applying Rule 20-2c.Therefore, the second drop in the sequence in the correct location actually becomes the first drop when applying Rule 20-2c.In this case, the player must drop the ball a third time and if the ball rolls into any location covered by Rule 20-2c it must be placed as near as possible to where it struck the course on the third drop.