We are going to highlight every week some rules for players to help in the understanding of the rules of golf. We will use examples of rulings that we have seen at the Roaring River Golf Course in Belize. If there are any rules you want clarification on, email me and we will do the research.
Hitting Wrong Ball.
If a competitor makes a stroke or strokes at a wrong ball, he incurs a penalty of two strokes.
The competitor must correct his mistake by playing the correct ball or by proceeding under the Rules. If he fails to correct his mistake before making a stroke on the next teeing ground or, in the case of the last hole of the round, fails to declare his intention to correct his mistake before leaving the putting green, he is disqualified.
Ruling is here :
Ball Moved Accidentally by Practice Swing Prior to Tee Shot.
You take a practice swing. You step a little closer to the ball and take another. Whoops - you accidentally hit the ball with that practice swing! What happens next?
If the ball is on the teeing ground and you have not yet made a stroke at the ball, then the ball is not yet in play. And accidentally hitting the ball with a practice swing in that situation does not result in a stroke or a penalty.
However, once you've made a stroke at the ball on the teeing ground, the ball is considered in play until you hole out. Then the question of whether a practice swing that makes contact is a stroke or penalty (or both) is covered under Rule 18, "Ball at Rest Moved."
And here's the ruling: If you accidentally move a ball in play with a practice swing, it's a one-stroke penalty. You must replace the ball to its original position and play it correctly.
Failing to replay the ball from its original position results in a total penalty of two strokes in stroke play or loss of hole in match play.
Ruling is here :
Ball lands in tree - What are my options?
You have 3 options :
1 - Play It as It Lies. What this means, of course, is that you're willing to climb up into the tree and take a swing at the ball.
2 - Unplayable. You can declare the ball unplayable under Rule 28, take a one-stroke penalty and, most likely, drop within two club-lengths of the ball (there are other options for continuing under the unplayable rule, but this is the most likely to be used in this scenario). The spot from which you measure the two club-lengths is that spot on the ground directly under where the ball rests in the tree.
But in order to use the unplayable option, you must be able to identify your ball. You can't just assume that it's up there somewhere, and you can't just assume that a ball you see in the tree is yours. You must positively identify it as yours.
That might mean trying to shake it loose from the tree, or climbing the tree simply to retrieve the ball for ID purposes. Before you do either, make sure you've announced your intention to treat the ball as unplayable. If you dislodge the ball without having made your intentions clear (to continue under the unplayable rule), you'll incur a penalty stroke under Rule 18-2a (Ball at Rest Moved) and will be required to put the ball back in the tree! (Failure to replace a ball such moved would result in an additional 1-stroke penalty.) However, if you proceed directly under one of the options of rule 28, you need not replace the ball (see decision 20-3a/3).
So make sure you identify your ball before continuing under the unplayable option, and make sure you declare your intentions before retrieving or dislodging the ball from the tree.
3 - Lost Ball. Of course, you may not be able to find a ball that has lodged in a tree, even if you know it's there. The only option then is to accept the penalty for a lost ball and proceed under Rule 27 (Ball Lost or Out of Bounds). The lost ball penalty is stroke-and-distance; that means assessing a one-stroke penalty and returning to the spot of the previous stroke, where you must replay the shot.
Ruling is here :
If you have any other rulings email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will investigate.