This week, I received a few queries from recipients of my ‘How Many Strokes?’ weekly email series, who thought that I had missed counting a penalty for a player who did not mark their ball before lifting it when taking free relief from an immovable obstruction. Many golfers are surprised when they learn that the Rules of Golf do not require that a ball is marked before lifting when taking relief under the Rules.
Of course, there are some occasions when the position of a ball must be marked before it is lifted;
- Anywhere on the putting green, Rule 16-1b. (Exception: if the player is taking relief from an immovable obstruction on the putting green).
- To determine if it is unfit for play, Rule 5-3.
- For identification, Rule 12-2.
- Because it is assisting or interfering with play, Rule 22.
Conversely, the position of a ball does not have to be marked before it is lifted;
- When it has been deemed unplayable, Rule 28.
- When taking relief from an immovable obstruction, Rule 24-2b.
- When taking relief from an abnormal ground condition, Rule 25-1b.
- When taking relief from a water hazard, Rule 26-1.
Having identified those circumstances where a player is not required by the Rules to mark their ball before lifting it, let me make it perfectly clear that it is good practice to do so, in order that the referee, marker of fellow competitor can be assured that the ensuing drop is within the prescribed area. However, it is a ‘should’ rather than a ‘must’.
For a number of reasons, I have now decided not to re-publish my ‘999 Questions’ book in hard copy (bad experience with the publishers, inconvenience of stocking, high postal charges, daily trips to post office, etc.) However, my main reason is that the acceptance of ‘999 Updated Questions on the Rules of Golf 2012 -2015’, as an eBook has exceeded my expectations. You can purchase the Kindle version through Amazon, but if you purchase through this link, for the same price I will send you both a pdf file (all computers) and a Mobipocket file (Kindle, iPad, Blackberry, smart phone or other compatible device). I am pleased to say that although some readers were unsure as to whether they would be able to transfer the downloadable file onto their various devices, every one of them has been able to do so. Check it out here – it will help you get a better understanding of the Rules.
The above content is strictly copyright to Barry Rhodes © 2012 and may not be copied without permission.