October - 2013

Last Saturday was such a beautiful day. Wispy clouds and views forever. After I tapped in for par on fifteen, I thought I'd take advantage of the moment and go up the hill and watch my playing partners finish the hole, while I enjoyed the spectacular view.

Just as I was reaching the cart, I heard "What the! What do I do now?"

One of the players (lets call him John) was raising his arm's and re-creating some form of a putting stroke, with the ball a foot away.
Not really wanting to trudge back down and interrupt my mellow mood, I hear Mr. Troilo, (oops!) say "I was just practicing my putt and accidentally moved the ball!"
John made this mistake because he was probably a little jet lagged and tired- he had just returned from two weeks in Hawaii, playing golf almost every day. (my sympathy level for him at that moment was low…)

Anyway, another player close to him, (lets call him Lee) instantly offered advice, and said "You have to replace your ball, because you caused it to move accidentally, and you have to add a penalty stroke for moving a ball at rest".

Kudos to Mr. Groon, (double oops!) who knew the answer right away. Lee is very good with the rules, and didn't hesitate to help poor (Hawaii tired) John. Do I sound jealous?

I thought this would be a good re-fresher on the rules, because sometimes when you're tired, you just can't think clearly…

The Decision for Ball At Rest Moved, is under RULE 18.

18-2a/20 Ball in Play Moved Accidentally by Practice Swing

Q.A player makes a practice swing and accidentally moves his ball in play with his club. Has he made a stroke?

A.No. He had no intention of moving the ball - see Definition of "Stroke." However, he incurs a penalty stroke under Rule 18-2a for moving his ball in play, and the ball must be replaced.

Decisions related to 18-2A/19 and 18-2A/20:
· 7-2/7 Practice Swing Dislodges Concealed Ball.
· 11-3/3 Original Ball Out of Bounds; Ball Played Under Stroke-and-Distance Procedure Falls Off Tee at Address.
· 15/2 Player's Stroke at Own Ball Dislodges Concealed Ball.

A "stroke'' is the forward movement of the club made with the intention of striking at and moving the ball, but if a player checks his downswing voluntarily before the clubhead reaches the ball he has not made a stroke.

Derek Duesler