Tough golf rules! Fortunately, we have a teacher. Our rules man knows the book from front to back. Got a question? He has all the answers.
My playing partner hit his ball in the tall grass. When he was about to play it, it was full of wasps – we must have disturbed their nest. Grab his ball, take a few steps back from the tall grass area, and play his shot (happily). He moved it away from the hole but to a different grass. When he asked me how he should score the hole, I wasn’t sure. Add a penalty? And is there a rule that allows free rest if it is dangerous to play with them as lies? —Joe Schaerbeek, Woodstock, Ga.
There’s such a rule, Joe, but it doesn’t seem like your playing partner has followed it.
Rule 16.2 provides relief from situations of dangerous animals, and stinging wasps will qualify … but the correct procedure is to find the nearest point of full relief (the nearest spot where there is no longer a danger), in which case they are still in the general area, and then fall at the length of the paddle One of that is not near the hatch.
For more situational grammar guidance from our expert, read on…
The other day, I hit a T-ball that looked like it was headed OB, on the wrong side of a chain link fence. I searched for my original ball and found it inside. On the other side of the fence there were children playing… Their smiles made me suspect that they had just done me a favor. Do I play and assume I got a lucky bounce or…? —Bill Berg, Dallas, Texas
Bill, you either have a guilty conscience or you’re a good reader of children’s minds, a skill the Rules Guy lacks, at least according to Rules Boy.
A look alone doesn’t mean you have the information you need to act on. If there is some doubt about the condition of the ball and whether it has been moved out of bounds, you need to know. Next time, just gently Ask the children what happened.
If the ball is not touched, you are clearly in an empty area; If thrown from OB back into play, it will continue accordingly… to the tee, under Rule 18.2b, hitting 3 but with a clean conscience.
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