|Dustin Johnson infamously grounded his club in a bunker on the last hole of the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits|
Here are 10 questions relating to a player grounding their club. The answers and Rules references are at the end of the blog.
1. A player takes two practice swings in a water hazard, touching the ground each time. He incurs total penalties of four strokes for twice grounding his club in a hazard. True or False?
2. In a match, a player accidentally moves their ball in the act of grounding their putter on the putting green. They lose the hole. True or False?
3. Whilst taking a practice swing in a water hazard a player does not ground their club, but they do touch long grasses growing behind their ball on the backswing. They are penalised two strokes in stroke play. True or False?
4. A player may use their club to prevent themselves from falling as they enter a bunker. True or False?
5. A player has addressed their ball simply by grounding their club immediately in front of or behind their ball, regardless of whether or not they have taken their stance. True or False?
6. When a player chooses to play their ball that has come to rest on a bridge within the margins of a water hazard, they may ground their club on the bridge in doing so. True or False?
7. During a match, a player’s ball lies on the downslope of a bunker and they lightly brush the sand with their club in preparation for their stroke. They lose the hole. True or False?
8. A player may not touch the water in a water hazard with their club on the backswing of their stroke. True or False?
9. A player may place a spare club brought into a hazard on the ground in the hazard while they plays a stroke with another club. True or False?
10. A player whose ball is plugged inside the margin of a water hazard may not wash their club in the water before making their stroke from within the hazard. True or False?
Answer 1: False. Decision 1-4/12(3). Note: A single penalty is incurred when related acts result in one Rule being breached more than once.
Answer 2: False. The player only incurs a penalty of one stroke and must replace the ball. Rule 18-2a.
Answer 3: False. There is no penalty for touching grass, bushes, trees or other growing things with either a practice swing or a stroke, Note to Rule 13-4.
Answer 4: True. Rule 13-4 Exception 1(a). Providing that nothing is done that constitutes testing the condition of the hazard or improves the lie of their ball.
Answer 5: True. Definition of Address. Note: Stance is no longer a requirement for addressing the ball.
Answer 6: True. Decision 13-4/30. Grounding a club on a bridge is permissible, because an obstruction in a water hazard is not ground in the hazard.
Answer 7: True. Rule 13-4b. The player must not touch the sand in the hazard with their hand or club.
Answer 8: True. Rule 13-4b. The player must not touch the ground in a hazard or water in a water hazard with his hand or club before making a stroke at a ball that lies within the water hazard. A stroke is the forward movement of the club made with the intention of striking at and moving the ball.
Answer 9: True. Exception 1b to Rule 13-4. The player may place their clubs in a hazard without penalty, providing they do not test the condition of the hazard or improve their lie.
Answer 10: True. Rule 13-4b. When a player’s ball lies inside the margin of a water hazard they may not touch water in the hazard with their hand or a club, other than during a stroke.
All of these Q&As are included in my eBook, ‘999 Updated Questions on the Rules of Golf 2012-2015’. In my opinion, this is the easiest way for golfers to obtain a better understanding of the Rules of Golf. Click here for details on how you may obtain a copy of this eBook for your tablet, smart phone, computer or eReader.
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