Stand Your Ground
Parts of the Course: The Teeing Ground
OGA Senior Rules Officials: Pete Scholz and Terry McEvilly
As we break down the parts of the course in the next few articles, we thought it only fitting to begin with the Teeing Ground. This very small portion of the course it has its own Rule (Rule 11) and affords the player a few extra liberties as well as prohibitions.
Questions: True / False
- The entire ball must be within the teeing ground when making a stroke.
- The depth of the teeing ground is the same for every player.
- In match play, the penalty for playing from outside the teeing ground is loss of hole.
- In stroke play, there is a two-stroke penalty for playing from outside the teeing ground when starting the hole.
- If a tee-marker interferes with the stance of the player he may move it provided he replaces it prior to any other competitor playing from the teeing ground.
- A player may improve the lie of her ball within the teeing ground by pressing down grass immediately behind or in front of her ball.
- If a player swings and misses a teed ball, he may re-tee it elsewhere within the teeing ground without penalty.
- The player’s first stroke from a teeing ground comes to rest out of bounds. She is required to drop a ball within the teeing ground under penalty of one stroke.
- The teeing ground of the hole being played is the only teeing ground on the course that is not considered a part of the course referred to as “through the green”.
- A ball is put into play by a stroke but is just knocked off the tee. The ball still lies within the teeing ground. The player is not allowed to create or eliminate any irregularities of surface within the teeing ground since the ball is in play.
- False. Only part of the ball must be within the teeing ground when starting the hole. If a player makes his first stroke at a ball that is only partially within the teeing ground the ball is in play correctly and the player incurs no penalty (def. Teeing Ground).
- False. The depth of the teeing ground is two club-lengths measured with any club in the player’s bag. A player may measure with a long putter provided it is one of the clubs he has selected for play. A fellow-competitor may not measure with the same long putter if he does not have a club in his bag that will achieve the same results. See the definition of Teeing Ground and Decision 20/2 for a more thorough explanation. Please note that the width of the teeing ground is the same for every player as it is established by the outside edges of the tee-markers.
- False. In match play only, there is no penalty for playing from outside the teeing ground. However, the opponent may immediately require the player to cancel the stroke and play a ball from within the teeing ground (Rule 11-4a). If the opponent decides not to exercise this right, the ball played from outside the teeing ground is in play.
- True. Under Rule 11-4b, the player incurs a two-stroke penalty and must cancel the stroke made from outside the teeing ground. This Rule requires the player to correct the error by playing a ball from within the teeing ground. Failing to correct the error before teeing off at the next hole results in disqualification.
- False. Prior to a player making his first stroke from the teeing ground, the tee-markers are deemed to be fixed and may not be moved to eliminate interference of any kind. In this situation, the player would be in breach of Rule 13-2 for improving the area of his stance. See Decision 11-2/2. The following question provides further clarity regarding improving the area of intended stance, swing or line of play within the teeing ground.
- True. Rule 13-2 allows a player to create or eliminate irregularities of surface within the teeing ground without fear of penalty. Even if the action improves the area of the player’s stance, swing or line of play. Additionally, if her ball was in play (i.e. a stroke was made at the ball) the authority to create or eliminate irregularities within the teeing ground still exists. See Question 10.
- False. Once a stroke has been made at a ball it is in play and must be played from where it lies. If the player did re-tee the ball elsewhere within the teeing ground and made a stroke he is deemed to have proceeded under the stroke and distance option of Rule 27-1 and the ball lies 3 after the second stroke.
- False. Rule 20-5 governs a player when electing or is required, as in this case, to put another ball into play from the spot of the previous stroke. Since the spot of her previous stroke was within the teeing ground she may play the ball from the ground or tee it up anywhere within the teeing ground.
- True. The definition of “through the green” excludes the teeing ground and the putting green of the hole being played and all hazards on the course.
- False. Rule 13-2 allows a player to create or eliminate irregularities of surface within the teeing ground whether or not the ball is in play.