Lost Ball in Fairway / Rule 27

Situation: Last season, during a Juniors Tournament in which I officiated, an interesting situation occurred. A young man and young lady were paired together for this stroke play event. The young lady was playing from the forward tees and had the honors. After her tee shot the young man played and both began walking down the rolling fairway. Both players hit great shots down the middle. As the competitors approached the crest of a hill, … Continue Reading →

Playing From a Wrong Place / Rule 20

Situation: On the 9th hole, a long par 5, a player in our group hit his 3rd shot over the green. The green has 4 bunkers, 2 located behind the green. The player saw his ball fly towards the back bunker and assumed it landed in the bunker. Upon arriving at the bunker, the player did not see his ball and believed it had plugged in the soft sand. After a 5 minute search (time … Continue Reading →

Ball in Motion Deflected or Stopped / Rule 19

Situation: Both Player A and Player B’s ball were on the putting green. Player A’s ball was considerably off to the right and not in Player B’s line. Player A’s ball had come to rest on a sloping area of the green. Since it did not interfere with B’s line there was no rush to mark his ball. Player B made his stroke and suddenly gravity caused Player A’s ball to begin rolling down the … Continue Reading →

Ball Lost or In Hazard? Rule 27

Situation: In a junior tournament sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic PGA recently, an interesting situation occurred in reference to a ball being lost or being in a lateral hazard. The player hit his approach shot short and left of the green near a lateral water hazard. The area around the hazard was covered with very tall, thick grass. Because all the players saw the ball going towards the hazard area, the player and the other competitors in the … Continue Reading →

Ball Unplayable Rule 28

Situation: In a weekend tournament recently, a player found what he thought was his ball in an unplayable position. He was unable to retrieve the ball and decided to drop a ball within two club lengths, no closer to the hole (Rule 28c). After playing the shot, he found the original ball about twenty feet away in a playable position. What is the ruling? Decision: The rule, Rule 28c, allows a player to drop a … Continue Reading →

Relief From Casual Water in a Bunker

Situation: During a tournament round after heavy rains, several bunkers are almost completely filled with water. The player hit his ball into one of these bunkers. His ball was in water about two inches deep and he requested relief from the casual water. The problem the player faced was the entire bunker was filled and no area was without casual water. Along the inside edge of the bunker the water was only about a quarter … Continue Reading →

Ball Moved When Measuring to Determine if Re-Drop Required

Situation: Early last season while officiating a Juniors Golf Tournament sponsored by the local section of the PGA, a player was taking a drop for an unplayable lie. After dropping the ball within two club lengths, the ball rolled away. The player knew if the ball had rolled more than two club lengths he would need to re-drop (something many adults don’t know). As he was measuring with his driver, the player touched the ball … Continue Reading →

Placed Ball Rolls into Hole

Situation: I was asked about a situation which arose in a friend’s foursome. The course they were playing has a green with somewhat of a steep slope on one area of the green. When the hole location is placed near the slope, it is difficult to get the ball to stay on its location once marked and replaced. The player’s original ball position was about three feet above the hole on the steep slope. After … Continue Reading →

Competitor rinses club in water hazard

Situation: A player approached me after the round was completed but prior to the signing of score cards. The competitor had played a stroke within a water hazard but did not get the ball out of the hazard. The ball had landed in deep water and was definitely unplayable. The competitor then rinsed his club off in the water hazard. The player claimed a two stroke penalty was incurred for grounding the club in the … Continue Reading →

Ball declared lost then found prior to playing another ball

Situation: Recently during a tournament, a player hit his tee shot into an area of the course containing tall, thick grass. After searching for less than five minutes (the allotted time allowed to search for a lost ball), the player declared his ball lost and went back to re-tee. During his walk back, still inside the five minutes allowed, his playing competitor found the original ball in a very unfavorable position. The player stated he … Continue Reading →