|Which of the three yellow golf balls is/are not lying out of bounds?|
Answer at end of point 8.
I am often asked if I know of any tips or techniques that will help golfers to remember Rules of Golf, especially penalties. Here are a few suggestions that might help, but be warned that like most general aide-mémoires, there may be occasional exceptions that could catch you out.
- A penalty of one stroke in stroke play is also a penalty of one stroke in match play; a penalty of two strokes in stroke play is loss of hole in match play. (But see 1,2 & 3 below)
- If a player accidentally causes a ball at rest to move (or is deemed to have caused it to move, as in Rule 18-2b) there is a penalty of one stroke and the ball must be replaced; if God moves the ball there is no penalty and the ball must be played from where He moved it to.
- A ball must always be marked before it is lifted if it is to be replaced at the same spot.
- Relief under Rule 26-1 (from water hazard) and Rule 28 (ball unplayable). As easy as A,B,C!
Option a) As near as possible (to the previous spot).
Option b) Behind (the reference point).
Option c) Close (within two club-lengths of the reference point).
- One club-length is for ‘free’; two club-lengths are for a ‘cost’. Meaning that whenever you have a free drop under the Rules you drop within one club-length of the reference point, but if you are taking relief under penalty (e.g. ball unplayable, water hazard) you drop within two club-lengths of the reference point. (edit 19th March 2013: There is NO such thing as one club-length relief! The relief is within one club-length of the nearest point of relief).
- You always have the option, under penalty of one stroke, of playing a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which you last played (Rule 27-1).
- Artificial objects (i.e. objects that have been changed by a manufacturing or construction process) are obstructions, whereas natural objects are loose impediments.
- When any part of a ball touches;
* a putting green, it is on the putting green
* the teeing ground, it is in the teeing ground
* a bunker, it is in the bunker
* a water hazard, it is in the water hazard (including touching the stake or line)
* casual water, it is in casual water
* an abnormal ground condition, it is in the abnormal ground condition
* the course, it is in bounds (i.e. not out of bounds)
(So, in the diagram above only ball A is not lying out of bounds, as balls B and C do not touch or overhang the course.) (Edit 15th February 2013: Readers have pointed out that the ball is always in the smallest of the two areas it touches.)
- (Edit 16th February 2013 submitted by readers: Drop - Player; Place - Player or partner; Replace - Player, partner or person who lifted it.)
- CCOOS - Cut, cracked or out of shape. (Ball Unfit for Play, Rule 5-3).
- Remember the three times that you cannot clean the ball when you lift it I U I - identifying, unfit for play and interfering/assisting.
- Water hazard - 3 options, Lateral water hazard - 5 options,
Unplayable lie - 3 options, Disqualifications for failure to correct - 5 (holing out, wrong ball, wrong teeing ground, wrong place significant breach, and wrong order on foursome competition).
- Water hazards - yellow lines/stakes; lateral water hazards - red lines/stakes.
(Edit January 2016: Thanks to Richard O for supplying another memory aid;
A movable obstruction is movable without penalty anywhere in the universe.Richard also pointed out that ther are two more instances when a ball must not be cleaned when lifted under the Rules; to determine whether it is in an abnormal ground condition (e.g. on rabbit scrapes) and whether it is embedded.)
Paul offered this tip: Note that the number sequence “3-1-2-3” is a convenient way to remember the number of persons authorized by Rule 20 [Lifting, Dropping and Placing …] to take a ball out of play or put a ball into play. “3-1-2-3” relates to Lifting – Dropping – Placing – Replacing.
2 Rule 19-5a provides an exception where a penalty is incurred in stroke play, but not in match play, when a ball putted from the putting green is deflected or stopped by a ball at rest on the putting green.
3 In match play there is a penalty of one stroke for lifting an opponent’s ball, whereas in stroke play there is no penalty for lifting a fellow competitor’s ball.
If you know of other aide-mémoires that help you remember Rules of Golf please let me know.
Finally, it is worth memorising the following central principle of the Rules of Golf, as found on the inside front cover of the R&A Rules book;
“Play the ball as it lies, play the course as you find it, and if you cannot do either, do what is fair. But to do what is fair, you need to know the Rules of Golf.”Good golfing,
Now I invite you to click on this link to view my indispensable resource for anyone who wishes to improve their knowledge and understanding of the Rules of Golf.