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An Out of Bounds Save
On the par 5-4th hole at Glenwoodie Golf Club, all players in the foursome are around the green waiting for Eric to hit his fourth shot. He is playing his shot from right of the green by the tee box for the upcoming par 3-5th hole.  Eric hits his shot which sails over the green, hits his golf cart, which is on the cartpath adjacent to the trees, then rolls up to the fringe.  He then says, "Wow!!! I'm glad that cart was there, my ball was headed out of bounds.  I can still make par if I make this putt from the fringe."  Chuck says, "Yes it was headed out of bounds, and since it was you have to play it as such.  So return to where you played that shot and add a stroke."  Fitz says, "He must drop two club-lengths away from the golf cart and take a one stroke penalty.  Then Gji says, "He must play his ball where it lies and accept a one stroke penalty for hitting his own equipment."  Who's correct?!?!?!?
 
According to Rule 19-1
Under the Definition of "Equipment," equipment includes a golf cart, whether or not motorized. If two or more players share a golf cart, the cart and everything in it are deemed to be the equipment of one of the players sharing the cart. If the cart is being moved by one of the players (or the partner of one of the players) sharing it, the cart and everything in it are deemed to be that player's equipment. Otherwise, the cart and everything in it are deemed to be the equipment of the player sharing the cart whose ball (or whose partner's ball) is involved.
Thus, for example, in a singles match, if A and B are sharing a cart and A's ball in motion is deflected or stopped by the cart, A incurs a penalty of one stroke.  So Gji is correct.


Ball Accidently Kicked

After hitting his second shot onto the green on the par 5-16th hole at University Golf Club, Chuck was excited to have an eagle putt.  In his excitement, he accidently kicked his ball while it was on the green causing it to roll a few feet away.  He quickly grabbed the ball, and placed it back where he assumed it to be.  He marked it, and picked it up again. Chuck then announces, "I'm glad that was an accident, I am still putting eagle because I put it back where it was."  Gji says, "No your not, that is a one stroke penalty because you moved your ball."  Eric says, "Because it was an accident, he gets to play it from where it was moved to, but because he picked it up, he is charged one stroke for doing this without marking it first."  Who's correct?!?!?!? 


Rule 18:  Ball at Rest Moved
18-2. By Player
When a player’s ball is in play, if the player, lifts or moves the ball, touches it purposely (except with a club in the act of addressing the ball), or causes the ball to move.
the player incurs a penalty of one stroke.  If the ball is moved, it must be replaced.  Under the Rules there is no penalty if a player accidentally causes his ball to move in the following circumstances:

In searching for a ball covered by sand, in the replacement of loose impediments moved in a hazard while finding or identifying a ball, in probing for a ball lying in water in a water hazard or in searching for a ball in an obstruction or an abnormal ground condition – Rule 12-1
In repairing a hole plug or ball mark – Rule 16-1c
In measuring – Rule 18-6
In lifting a ball under a Rule – Rule 20-1
In placing or replacing a ball under a Rule – Rule 20-3a
In removing a loose impediment on the putting green – Rule 23-1
In removing movable obstructions – Rule 24-1


Because Chuck moved his ball and did not meet any of the above listed conditions he is charged a one stroke penalty.  If Chuck were to say that he was attempting to mark his ball, then it is possible to proceed under rule 20-1 and not accept a penalty.  But since that is not the case, Gji is correct.


Unplayable in the Sand

Chuck's tee shot is practically buried, and resting against the lip in the sand on the par 3-16th hole at Balmoral Woods Country Club.  Knowing it's probably gonna take him two or more shots to get his ball on the green, Chuck declares, "Imma take an unplayable lie." And tells the group, "Imma drop right here and hit three."  Pointing to the grass behind the trap.  
Eric says, "You can't take an unplayable because your ball is right there and nothing is obstructing your swing or your stance."  
Then Garlande chimes in and says, "Damn Chuck, you can't do that bruh!!  You can take an unplayable, but you have to drop your ball in the trap"  So Who's Correct?!?!?

The player may deem his ball unplayable at any place on the course, except when the ball is in a water hazard. The player is the sole judge as to whether his ball is unplayable.
If the player deems his ball to be unplayable, he must, under penalty of one stroke:
a. Proceed under the stroke and distance provision of Rule 27-1 by playing a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played (see Rule 20-5); or
b. Drop a ball behind the point where the ball lay, keeping that point directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind that point the ball may be dropped; or
c. Drop a ball within two club-lengths of the spot where the ball lay, but not nearer the hole.
If the unplayable ball is in a bunker, the player may proceed under Clause a, b or c. If he elects to proceed under Clause b or c, a ball must be dropped in the bunker.
So Garlande is Correct.



Practicing Between Holes
While playing in a tournament.  Garlande's foursome (Garlande, Eric, Doug, and Chuck Dogg) is on the tee box of a par three waiting on the group in front of them to finish the hole.  While waiting, Garlande grabs his pitching wedge and begins to chip, back and forth on the tee box.  Chuck Dogg then says, "Hey Garlande, you get a TWO stroke penalty for practicing between holes."  Garlande says, "No I don't.  I can practice chipping but not a 'full-swing shot.'"  Eric says, "You're partly right Chuck Dogg.  He does get a penalty, but it's one stroke instead of two."  Doug laughs "ha ha ha ha ha"....So who's correct???
Full-swing practice shots are never allowed between holes, but you can keep your short game sharp.  Per Rule 7-2, if you are between holes you may practice your chipping or putting on a or near the green you've just played; on a practice green; or on or near the next tee.  So Garlande is correct.



Practice Swing Hits Ball
On the 18th hole at Bolingbrook Golf Club, Garlande's tee shot lies in the middle of the fairway only 125 yards away from the pin.  While taking his practice swing, Garlande accidently strikes his ball and it rolls a few feet to the right. He goes to get his ball and brings it back to where it was.  He then holds it at shoulder length with his arm stretched out and drops it, nearest to the location where it was originally and says, "I can put the ball back where it was without penalty."
But Eric says, "Naw dude, you have to take a penalty stroke.  So now you lay two instead of one." 
Who's correct???  To view Rule 18-2 click here.  Here is an explanation. Garlande incurs a one stroke penalty, and must replace the ball to its original position. If he fails to replace the ball, he will incur a total penalty of loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play. Please refer to the Penalty Statement under Rule 18. (Rule 18-2a and Decision 18-2a/20).  So Eric is correct...


Yellow Stakes and Red Stakes
On the par 3-15th hole at Palmira, Chuck hits his ball over the water, it lands on the fringe, but hits a rake and rolls backwards into the water.  Yellow stakes surround and identify the water hazard.  There is no drop area.
 
Chuck says, because my ball landed across the hazard, I can drop here, standing on the fringe where his ball hit the rake.  Eric says, "Wait a minute, you can't drop there!  You can either go back to the tee or drop back there, pointing to the area across the pond.  Who's correct?!?!? Answer Below.
 
There are two types – water hazards and lateral water hazards. By definition, a water hazard (e.g., yellow stakes and/or lines) is any sea, lake, pond, river, ditch, surface drainage ditch or other open water course (whether or not containing water) and anything of a similar nature on the course. All ground and water within the margin of a water hazard are part of the water hazard. A lateral water hazard (e.g., red stakes and/or lines) is a water hazard or that part of the water hazard so situated that it is not possible, or is deemed by the Committee to be impractical, to drop a ball behind the water hazard in accordance with Rule 26-1b. 
 
If a player's ball comes to rest in a water hazard (yellow stakes and/or lines), the player has three options. The player may:  
1. play the ball as it lies without penalty ( Rule 13-1); or under penalty of one stroke; 
2. play a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played (see Rule 20-5); or 
3. drop a ball behind the water hazard, keeping the point at which the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind the water hazard the ball may be dropped. So Eric is Correct!!!!



OB or NOT OB

On the par-4 11th hole at Woodruff Golf Course, Chuck hits I high arcing slice that is most certainly headed OB into the neighbors back yard.  He, Eric, and Garlande watch as his ball sails in that direction.  Eric says, "That's OB Chuck, you gotta hit another one."  About ten seconds later, just as Chuck is about to play a provisional, a ball coming from the OB area where he's original tee shot went, flies gently in the air towards the fairway.  Chuck says, "Hey that might be my ball!"  Garlande says, "No way dude, your shit is waaaaaayyyy outta bounds!"  So Chuck plays his provisional.  When the group gets to where that questionable ball is, they see that it is indeed Chuck's ball.  They all look over to the backyard where Chuck's ball went and an elderly gentleman says, "That ball almost hit me, but I play golf and knew you'd want it back, so I threw it onto the golf course."  Chuck says, "Thanks, you saved me two strokes." as he walks over to pick up his provisional tee shot.  But Garlande says, "Naw Chuck, your ball came to rest OB, so therefore, you cannot play that ball anymore.  You must play the provisional."  Eric says, He can play that ball, but he must take a one stroke penalty because it was touched by an outside agency.  So who's correct?

Chuck - Play the original ball
Garlande - Play the provisional
Eric - Play the original with a ONE stroke penalty.

A ball is no longer in play once it comes to rest out of bounds.  Because the man picked it up and threw it onto the course does not change the situation. According to Rule 27-1, the ball must be replaced and the provisional ball must be played.  So Garlande is correct



Against the Fence
While playing the par 5-12th Hole at Prairie Bluff Golf Course, Fitzroy's tee shot sailed far right and comes to rest inches away from the fence that signals OB.  Fitzroy looks at his ball, then determines that it is too close to the fence for him to hit it. What are his options???????  The answer follows......
 
Rule 24-4 states that...."A fence defining out of bounds is NOT an obstruction even if part of it is inside the boundary line formed by the fence posts." 
 
A fence defining out-of-bounds is considered fixed. Play the ball as it lies or take a one-stroke penalty and proceed under the rules for an unplayable lie


Ball Accidently Goes In
On the par 4-18th hole at George Dunne Golf Course, Garlande's approach shot is on the green about five feet away for birdie.  Chuck is chipping for his birdie attempt. But he skulls his chip sending his ball racing across the green.  It then strikes Garlande's ball causing Garlande's ball to go directly into the hole.  Chuck's ball rolls a few more yards then stops at the back of the green.  
Eric then says, "Wow Garlande, you just made an eagle because your ball went in and you were only lying 2!"  
Chuck says hold up, he gets a two-stroke penalty for not marking his ball, then we gotta put his ball back as near to where it was as possible."  
Fitzroy says, "Naw fellas, both of yall wrong.  Garlande does get a two-stroke penalty for not marking his ball, but he gets credit for it going in the hole.  So since he was lying 2, we add two strokes so he gets a par."
Garlande finally says, "Fellas, this is how it goes.  I get to put my ball back as near to where it was as possible without incurring a penalty."
Ok so who's correct???
A good policy to follow for a ball at rest moved is "If God moves it, leave it alone; otherwise, it must be replaced." This means that if the ball is moved by natural forces, gravity, wind, water, etc., the ball must be played from its new position. But if it is moved by any other force, another ball, a person, cart, etc., it must be put back.  This is if the ball moves prior to the player addressing it.

However, if the player has addressed the ball, Rule 18-2b comes into play.  If it is known or virtually certain the player did nothing to cause the ball to move, the player is not penalized and the ball is played from its new position. So Garlande is correct.



Rake Prevents Ball From Rolling
On the par 4-1st hole at Bolingbrook, Doug's ball was trapped by a rake outside a greenside bunker, and Doug's ball was on a small strip of grass between the green and the bunker that was so severely sloped that he knew that when he dropped the ball it would roll into the hazard.  So he marked the ball, removed the rake, and dropped the ball.  Sure enough, the ball rolled into the bunker.  He dropped it again and the same thing happened.  He had no luck placing the ball either.  Garlande then said, "You must play your ball out of the sand, since you tried to drop and place it and that didn't work."   But Tony said, "He gets to drop outside of the sand, because his ball was never in the sandtrap."  Who's correct???


This is a complicated questions, and we need to look at both the obstruction rule and the dropping rule to find the answer.
Under the obstruction rule, you may lift the ball and remove the rake.  (The rake is considered to be a movable obstruction, and you ARE entitled to FREE relief). The ball must then be dropped as near as possible to the spot where it lay leaning against the rake (Rule 24-1b).
When you drop the ball and it rolls into the bunker, the dropping rule now takes effect.  You must re-drop a ball that rolls into a hazard [20-2c(i)].  since your re-drop also went into the bunker you would then place the ball where it hit the ground on your second drop.  After the placed ball rolls into the bunker, you have to try to place it a second time.  After the 2nd try fails, you must place it at the nearest spot where it can be placed at rest that is not nearer the hole and not in a hazard. This might be a considerable distance away, and it might end up being placed on the green. (Rule 20-3d).  
So technically Tony is correct.  



Ground Under Repair
Eric's tee shot on the Par 5-1st hole at George Dunne lies behind a tree near an area marked as ground under repair (GUR).  His only reasonable stroke is to play to the side in a direction away from both the tree and the hole.  But his stance is in the GUR.  Eric then says, "Because my stance puts me in the area designated GUR, I am allowed a free drop."  He then picks up his ball and drops it thus allowing him to be able to hit a shot towards the green.  Chuck says, "You can't do that!"  You are entitled to relief, but after dropping, you must maintain the same line of play that existed before you took the drop."  Garlande says, "He doesn't get a free drop at all, because his ball isn't in the GUR area.  it doesn't matter where he stands.  If he takes a drop, he must incur a one-stroke penalty for an unplayable lie.".........Who's correct???

According to rule 25-1b/22 -  a player is entitled to relief under this rule and after relief may play in any direction.  So Garlande is correct.  Click (Abnormal Conditions) to view a video of abnormal playing conditions.



That's Good, Pick It Up
On the par 4-4th hole at George Dunne, Garlande has an 80 foot birdie putt.  He strikes it perfectly and it rolls to the edge of the cup but doesn't go in.  Chuck then says, "Great putt, you can have it.  Pick it up."  


As Garlande walks to get his ball, it falls in.  Eric says, "Wow!!  Too bad we gave it to you already. Great par!!"  


"But wait a minute." Garlande says.  "The ball went in.  I should have a birdie!"  Who's correct??  


Rule 2-4 does say a conceded shot can't be "declined or withdrawn." But you can only concede a stroke after your opponent's ball is at rest. Even if it looked like his putt had stopped, by rule, it hadn't. Rule 16-2 states that when a ball overhangs the hole, the player is allowed time to reach the hole without "unreasonable delay," and then an additional 10 seconds.....So Garlande is correct!!



Free Drop or Unplayable Lie?

I hit a drive that rolls across the cart path and comes to rest between the path and the Out-Of-Bounds fence.  The ball was still in play and I could put a club on it.  But not take a normal swing.  There is only a couple feet of grass between the cart path and the fence.  When addressing the ball, I am standing on the cart path.  Do I get relief (A FREE DROP) because I am standing on the cart path, or does the drop constitute an unplayable lie and causes me to take a stroke because the ball is lying against an OB fence?  (I don't know the answer to this one.  If you have an answer please reply).


Unplayable Lie in the Forest
Gji (pronounced Gee) has a great round going.  He is even par as he plays the par 5-10th hole at the Course at Aberdeen.  After splitting the fairway with his tee shot, he decided to go for the green on his second shot.  He hits a high draw which lands deep in the forest on the left side of the fairway. Not wanting a lost ball, Gji goes deep into the forest looks for 3 minutes then yells, "I found it!!!"  He then says, "I'm going to take an unplayable.  So I can drop right here, I'm two club lengths away from the bushes/forest.  (Now standing outside of the forest nowhere near where he found his ball).  Eric says, "You can't drop there.  You don't get two club-lengths from the forest, but two club-lengths from where your ball is.  Even if you are still going to be hitting out of the forest.  Chuck says, "I agree with Eric, but instead of two club-lengths, he should only get one."  Fitzroy then says, "He can go back as far as he wants to from where he hit his ball to the point where his ball is now."  So who's correct????
 
The player may deem his ball unplayable at any place on the course, except when the ball is in a water hazard. The player is the sole judge as to whether his ball is unplayable.
If the player deems his ball to be unplayable, he must, under penalty of one stroke:
a. Proceed under the stroke and distance provision of Rule 27-1 by playing a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played (see Rule 20-5); or
b. Drop a ball behind the point where the ball lay, keeping that point directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind that point the ball may be dropped; or
c. Drop a ball within two club-lengths of the spot where the ball lay, but not nearer the hole.
 
If Gji decides to proceed under section b, then he can only go back on a line directly between the hole and his ball, so Fitz is incorrect.  Dropping outside of the forest is a lot more than two club-lengths so Gji is incorrect.  The rule clearly says two club-lengths so Chuck is incorrect.  Eric, then is correct in this situation. 
 
If you guys remember Kevin Na took a 16 on a hole once pretty similar to the situation described above.  Do you think he woulda took a 16 if he could have simply dropped outside of the forest?  Click (Kevin Na's 16) to view the video.