Thursday, June 20, 2013
I was playing a friendly Match play round with my good friend Doug.
We were playing our 12th hole (no strokes were awarded for this hole), a par 3 of about 145 yards. I had the honors so I hit first. Doug was videotaping my swing for later analysis on my iPad.
I hit a great shot. It was tracking the pin and I could see it hit the lower level of the green and then climb up the hill to the 2nd level where the hole was. It sure looked like I had a hole-in-one, but with my aging eyes it could easily have been just in front of the hole or just behind it.
Doug hit his ball to the right of the green, which has quite a few very dense bushes where balls are often lost.
When then drove up to the green. As we approached it I could see my ball about 4 feet directly in front of the pin! Whew, I was a bit disappointed.
We searched for Doug’s ball (since we are retired Seniors we took more than the prescribed 5 minutes) in the bushes and surrounding area, but could not find it. He asked what his options were and I told him (cus I am the Rules chair) he had only 1 option, to play a lost ball and hit it again from the tee box with the stroke/distance penalty.
As he was preparing to drive back to the tee I walked onto the green, marked my ball, and started to vacate the green in anticipation of his next shot. I just happened to glance at the ball in my hand, and discovered it was NOT my ball.....but Doug’s ball! I must be too slow to have figured this out but Doug said, “ Bob. Look in the hole.” I did look and to my amazement, there was my lovable Titleist looking up to me! Doug then proceeded to hole his putt for a birdie.
As we were walking to our carts, Doug asked if I get a penalty for marking his ball? Hmmmmm, I thought, I think that Doug has a good and valid point, and I told him so. I also said I’d look up the ruling in my Decisions book and get back to him.
I did my research and concluded that since I was not his partner, caddy, or someone authorize to mark his ball, I did indeed accrue a penalty.
So, it appears I got a hole-in-2, and we halved the hole since he got the birdie. I confirmed this with our other two Rules folks and they agreed.
Am I right so far?
Later that afternoon, while sipping some wine in the sun on my patio, I had another thought and it goes like this.
Since my ball was holed in 1, the only way Doug could tie me is to make a 1 himself. Since he did NOT do that, I believe I can argue that the hole must be over. If so, the marking of his ball is moot and no penalty can be assigned. I have not, however, found language (in the RoG, nor the Decisions book) to convince me that my idea is correct.
Hmmm......well, what do you think?
Your play of the hole was complete as soon as the ball was holed. Your score on the hole was 1 (congratulations!), and your opponent had to hole his tee shot to halve the hole. Your opponent lost the hole when his tee shot did not go into the hole. Since the hole was over for both of you, you could not incur a penalty afterwards by lifting his ball without permission.
Copyright © 2013 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.