February - 2015
Doubt As To Procedure; Stroke Play and Match Play
Because we play golf for fun, and try to adhere to all the Rules, sometimes during competition the pressure on everyone clouds clear thinking.
I know during match play this year several things (very odd things) have come up and my first reaction is (as it should be for everyone) "Wait! Tell me ALL the facts of what happened"
We have gone over this before, but as we enter a new season of competition, understand that Stroke play and Match play are treated very differently under the Rules of Golf.
If you are playing in a Stroke play tournament, and come upon a situation that is not clear to you immediately, understand this Rule:
Note: If the competitor takes further action before dealing with the doubtful situation, Rule 3-3 is not applicable. The score with the original ball counts or, if the original ball is not one of the balls being played, the score with the first ball put into play counts, even if the Rules do not allow the procedure adopted for that ball. However, the competitor incurs no penalty for having played a second ball, and any penalty strokes incurred solely by playing that ball do not count in his score.
b. Determination of Score for Hole
(ii) If the competitor fails to announce in advance his decision to complete the hole with two balls, or which ball he wishes to count, the score with the original ball counts, provided it has been played in accordance with the Rules. If the original ball is not one of the balls being played, the first ball put into play counts, provided it has been played in accordance with the Rules. Otherwise, the score with the other ball counts if the Rules allow the procedure adopted for that ball.
Note 1: If a competitor plays a second ball under Rule 3-3, the strokes made after this Rule has been invoked with the ball ruled not to count and penalty strokes incurred solely by playing that ball are disregarded.
Note 2: A second ball played under Rule 3-3 is not a provisional ball under Rule 27-2.
And, if you are playing Match play, you must understand, and use this Rule if any doubt, or dispute occurs.
2-5. Doubt As To Procedure; Disputes And Claims
A claim is considered to have been made in a timely manner if, upon discovery of circumstances giving rise to a claim, the player makes his claim (i) before any player in the match plays from the next teeing ground, or (ii) in the case of the last hole of the match, before all players in the match leave the putting green, or (iii) when the circumstances giving rise to the claim are discovered after all the players in the match have left the putting green of the final hole, before the result of the match has been officially announced.
A claim relating to a prior hole in the match may only be considered by the Committee if it is based on facts previously unknown to the player making the claim and he had been given wrong information (Rules 6-2a or 9) by an opponent. Such a claim must be made in a timely manner.
Once the result of the match has been officially announced, a claim may not be considered by the Committee, unless it is satisfied that (i) the claim is based on facts which were previously unknown to the player making the claim at the time the result was officially announced, (ii) the player making the claim had been given wrong information by an opponent and (iii) the opponent knew he was giving wrong information. There is no time limit on considering such a claim.
If you have read this far, your understanding of what to do when things are uncertain, will have improved greatly!