I have another Rules riddle for you for this New Year’s holiday.
Brian arrives early at his Club for the monthly medal strokes competition. He has heard that the Course Committee has directed the greenkeeper to replace the sand in the bunkers and wondered how they were playing. He takes a sand wedge into a bunker on the 18th green and without putting down a ball makes several swings in the bunker, moving an inch or so of sand on each occasion. He then takes a rake and carefully smoothes the area of sand that he has just disturbed.Before making his first stroke, has Brian breached, a) no Rule, b) one Rule, c) two Rules, d) three Rules, e) more than three Rules? Answer below.
On returning to the first teeing ground Brian greets Arthur and Colin, his two fellow competitors, and tells them that the new bunker sand is much finer than they have been used to and is completely dry, making sand shots much easier than in previous weeks. There are still a few minutes to wait until their start time so Brian asks Arthur if he may try out his new long-handled putter. He then realises that he does not have any decent balls with him and asks Colin if he can borrow a sleeve of three balls, which he will replace after their round is over. He drops the three borrowed balls on the teeing area and putts each of them from within the blue teeing ground aiming for the left hand yellow tee marker. At this point, the marshall asks them to start and Colin, who has the lowest handicap of the group of three players, tees up and makes his drive even though Brian’s name was the first one on the time sheet.
The Gathering Ireland 2013
I have had the pleasure of living in Dublin for the past 36 years. I am not Irish by birth, but my grandparents on my mother’s side were Traynors from County Monaghan, who together with their brothers and sisters had to emigrate from Ireland to the United States early in the 20th century. I married an Irish girl 26 years ago and have no intention of ever leaving this wonderful country.
Throughout 2013, Ireland will open its arms to friends and family from all over the world, inviting them home to locally organised gatherings in villages, towns and cities. A variety of clan gatherings, festivals, special sporting events, music and concerts will be taking place all across the country, throughout the year. Most golfers recognise Ireland as being a very special place to play golf, due to the tradition, the quality of the courses, the greenness of the countryside, the warm and friendly reception that they receive and, thanks to our recent recession, great value for sleeping, eating, drinking and playing. As my small contribution to making ‘the gathering Ireland 2013’ a success I am offering my services to any overseas golfing group that will be in the Greater Dublin area at any time during the year. I would be pleased to meet you, either in the Clubhouse after your golf, or back in your hotel or restaurant over dinner. I would be at your service, without charge, in whichever way you choose to use my expertise on the Rules of Golf. This might include running a quiz, giving a talk, recounting a few stories or answering any questions that you may have. If you have any interest in discussing this offer with me just address an email to barry at barryrhodes dot com with any information about your planned visit and we can take it from there. Unfortunately, I have to restrict this offer to groups that will be staying for part of their trip in the Greater Dublin area (say within 50 miles of the City Centre).
Answer to Rules Riddle
It may surprise you that Brian did not breach any Rule of Golf for his actions prior to starting his round.
Did he not breach Rule 7-1b by practicing before his round on the day of the competition?
No, Brian did not make any practice stroke as he was not using a ball when swinging his club in the bunker on the 18th green. Note 1 to Rule 7-2 confirms that a practice swing is not a practice stroke.
Did he not breach Rule 7-1b by testing the surface of the bunker?
No, Rule 7-2b only prohibits testing the surface of a putting green on the course.
Did he not breach Rule 8-1a by giving advice on the state of the bunkers to his fellow competitors?
No, Rule 8-1a only prohibits a player giving advice to another competitor during a stipulated round. There is no restriction on giving advice before starting a round.
Did he not breach Rule 4-4 by borrowing Arthur’s long-handled putter?
No, there is no restriction in using another player’s club before the stipulated round has commenced.
Did he not breach Rule 5-1 by borrowing a sleeve of balls from Colin, intending to use them during his round?
No, there is no restriction on borrowing items of equipment (balls, towels, gloves, tees, etc.) from another player.
Did he not breach Rule 7-1b by practicing putting on the first teeing area?
No, The Exception to Rule 7-1b permits practice putting on or near the first teeing ground.
Did he not breach Rule 10-2a by not playing first on the first tee, as per the time sheet.I wonder how many of you are surprised to find out that Brian did not breach any Rule before starting his round?
No, although Rule 10-1a states that the honour on the first teeing ground is determined by the order of the draw, or in the absence of a draw by lot, there is no penalty for not doing so, unless competitors have agreed to play out of turn to give one of them an advantage.
A Very Happy Golfing Year to all my readers. I have lots of plans for 2013. In the meantime, perhaps I can encourage you to join me in a resolution that can only lead to better golf, a happier life and improvements in our relations with others;
"Develop and maintain a positive attitude
for everything that is important to you."
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