Friday, 10 May 2013

Grounding a Club

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.

Good golfing,



The above content is strictly copyright to Barry Rhodes © 2013 and may not be copied without permission.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr. Rodhes I write from spain. I follow your greats posts about golf rules a ruling. I`m wondering abuot your opinion of the latest Tiger Wood dropping at the players.

Barry Rhodes said...

Anonymous from Spain,

Why don't you scroll back to my blog dated 14th April 2013, written soon after the controversial incident?

Barry

Anonymous said...

sorry, I mean the yesterdays drop at "the players" not the masters drop. This one is very interesting about where the ball crossed the hazard. Some times at my club we have some water and we always drop close to where we find the ball, not where it crossed the last time...

sorry my english is a awfull.

Barry Rhodes said...

Anonymous from Spain,

My apologies, I was not aware of the incident that you refer to when I replied. I now understand that Tiger's drop at the Players Championship is a 'non-issue'. Tiger's fellow competitor, Casey Wittenberg, confirmed that the drop was made at the correct place and the Rules Officials agreed having studied the video tape evidence.

Barry

Anonymous said...

Thanks a million. It´s always a pleasure to read your posts and your coments.

Anonymous said...

HI Barry,
I have a rules question here.
A player misses his tee shot on the teeing ground, (that counts one stroke), can he remove tee marker thereafter even though he doesn't hit his ball?
Thank you

Barry Rhodes said...

Anonymous,

Your question is answered by Decision 18-2a/1;

When the player made a stroke, the ball was in play (see Definition of "Ball in Play"). By pushing the tee further into the ground (or moving it), he moved the ball and incurred a penalty of one stroke under Rule 18-2a and was required to replace it. However, when the player made a stroke at the ball without replacing it, he played under penalty of stroke and distance (see Rule 27-1a). This procedure overrides Rule 18-2a and, therefore, the penalty under Rule 18-2a does not apply.

Barry

Anonymous said...

Hi Barry,
Sorry, I mean after the player misses his tee shot, can the TEE-MARKERS be removed?
Thank you

Barry Rhodes said...

Anonymous,

My apologies, I misread your question.

After a player has made their first stroke from the teeing ground the tee markers are obstructions and may be moved (even if the first stroke was a whiff/fresh air), Decision 11-2/1.

Barry

Anonymous said...

Can a player clean or ground his club in a water hazard after his first recovery shot out of it lands or rolls back into the same water hazard? I ask because I watched someone do this at the Recent Honda PGA tourney.

Barry Rhodes said...

Anonymous,

Decision 13-4/40 clarifies that no penalty is incurred, provided that there is no doubt, or it is reasonable to assume from the player's actions or statements, that they will play their next stroke from outside the hazard. However, a penalty is incurred if the player then decides to play their ball as it lies within the hazard.

Barry