I was speaking to a golfer who had just played a league match against someone he'd never met, on the 17th they were both chipping to the green, his opponent asked him to mark his ball as it was in his way, he duly obliged by marking his ball then putting it into his pocket, after the player had chipped he correctly replaced his ball and played, going on to win the hole. He was then told that he had lost the hole due to the fact he had cleaned his ball, sure that he hadn't he queried it only to be told that by simply putting the ball into and then getting it out of his pocket would have cleaned some dirt off the ball no matter how little. It probably is correct but a bit harsh IMO
Reply : Sat 24th Aug 2013 17:05
If you cannot beat somebody with your golf, beat them with the rules!
Reply : Sat 24th Aug 2013 18:48
Wow. It really does amaze me how low people will go to get a win!!
Reply : Sat 24th Aug 2013 18:57
Hmmmm very poor form. 99.99% of golfers would of put the ball in their pocket, I know I would of.
Reply : Sat 24th Aug 2013 19:07
Rules are the rules. If I was laying in a tight game I would call him on it if I was sure he had cleaned the ball. By putting a ball in your pocket there is no proof the ball was cleaned
I've played with some players who know the rules inside out and make requests like that to try to get you to break them. In that situation, when I thought they were trying to be clever, I would say "don't worry, I'll play it instead". In case you're wondering, that's your decision, not theirs once they ask
Reply : Sat 24th Aug 2013 19:17
Why would you put it in your pocket in the first place???
The correct procedure would be to mark your ball & then pick it up & hold it with as few fingers as possible.
Rules are rules, you can't make any exception just because you think it's harsh.
If you get penalised for breaking a rule then the fault lies with yourself, man up & take your punishment.
Last edit : Sat 24th Aug 2013 19:19
Reply : Sat 24th Aug 2013 19:52
Woooah the John, take a chill pill, take a look, I did not say it was wrong
Reply : Sat 24th Aug 2013 20:34
My reply wasn't aimed at you persa Alan. Just a general comment regarding rules infringements.
Reply : Sat 24th Aug 2013 21:26
Just think it is poor form calling an infringement on a player when he has been accommodating, but as John quite rightly points out rules are rules.
On thinking about it I would definitely take Chris's stance and say I would play my ball first rather than mark it. This situ has never arised for me where I have had to mark my ball off the green for an opponent to play but I it is a situ that I would now know how to deal with if it did happen.
Reply : Sat 24th Aug 2013 21:27
John, were i in that position i would have either put it in my pocket or just held it normally, ie in my palm which from what I've seen here would be just as bad and still a penalty
Reply : Sun 25th Aug 2013 20:50
I'm pretty sure in match play you would not be able to play your shot before your opponent so you would have to mark your ball.
As for putting it in your pocket I think you would be treading on thin ice, especially if the ground conditions were muddy
Here's a very good explanation.
Reply : Sun 25th Aug 2013 22:35
Not that it matters but it was during the hot spell a few weeks ago, probably not much chance of mud on th eball but i take your point
Reply : Tue 27th Aug 2013 11:47
That is a great website John! Cheers for sharing ... that's going to consume me for the best part of today I imagine!
Reply : Tue 27th Aug 2013 12:22
I am not sure a referee on tour would have given a penalty for that, plus it sounds like poor form from the player issuing the penalty. Hardly in the 'spirit of the game'
I suppose the safest thing to do is just to pick the ball up and drop it out of they way and not touch it again before it needs to replaced.
Reply : Tue 27th Aug 2013 15:58
Owen, i certainly wouldn't call a penalty for it but I think the type of person that would would also call it for you dropping it on the floor claiming the act could still knock mud off
Reply : Wed 28th Aug 2013 20:33
I think it's harsh to tarnish a player as a bad sport if they were to call the penalty. The responsibility is surely on all players to know the rules & to make sure they play within them.
Some people might think that calling a penalty on someone for removing a leaf out of a bunker harsh but its been done!!!!!!
Reply : Wed 28th Aug 2013 20:41
and so it all rears its ugly head again
THANKS FOR THAT FLOODY ;-)
Reply : Wed 28th Aug 2013 20:51
A perfect example in my opinion. Turned a match from a 1 down defeat into a 1 up win
Even if Darren was a muppet for not knowing the rules.....
Reply : Tue 3rd Sep 2013 13:52
It's enough to make you quit the game.
Reply : Tue 3rd Sep 2013 20:24
Or.........learn the rules??
Reply : Tue 3rd Sep 2013 21:25
Er no John, quit the game or rather don't play the game with people who are that anal about such things that really have no consequences to the outcome of the game. So what if someone moves a leaf or cleans a ball? It's not as if they're teeing up a on the fairway or improving their lie in the rough?. I don't want to argue about it because I'll never change your mind and you'll never change mine. It's just I find it totally tedious to play with rules officianados as they inevitably use the rules to their advantage.
Reply : Tue 3rd Sep 2013 22:00
i agree Patrick, not being a member of a course or not playing in proper matches often, i thankfully dont see too many shots being penalised for correct but harsh rulings. But then again i suppose when you are at a certain level these things become more important i guess. To me if my playing partner wants to put his ball in his pocket in the same scenario then i wouldnt call him on it. Ive let alot worse go esp playing my brother, he has agreat nack of moving trees!!!!! So for me i just enjoy playing golf and dont get too tied up on exact rulings. In my world your only cheatin yourself as nothing other than a pint is riding on it
Reply : Tue 3rd Sep 2013 22:30
Well Nick, it was the main reason I stopped entering club competitions. The number of times I was told I'd incurred a penalty (only to find out later that the 'rule' I was supposed to have infringed was not a rule but you'd signed your card anyway) just pissed me off and stopped me wanting to play. It's best to stay away from that crowd. At least you know where they all are on Sat mornings, doing the monthly qualifiers for the annual Medal, stableford etc. Jesus, if winning was life changing you could understand it.
Reply : Tue 3rd Sep 2013 22:50
Patrick its the main reason ive not yet joined a club, costs me loads not too but i dont get caught up in all the rulings etc, and just enjoy a game of golf. The game's hard enough without these types of annoying counter-productive rules. I mean who gives a crap about accidentally cleaning your ball or using the wrong type of pencil to mark your card, the game is simple really and overly complicated by rules.
Reply : Tue 3rd Sep 2013 23:26
I think it's about balance. When I'm playing in a social round with friends where the only thing being played for is bragging rights then common sense prevails. Things like tapping it in from a few inches without removing the flag don't get called and dropping a ball for three for a lost or OOB ball instead of walking back to the tee when we all thought it would be fine. A social round should be just that. However, in a "proper" comp such as a medal round or a cup knockout I follow the rules to the letter (or at least try to)
I know the rules say you can't agree to waive a rule but a bit of common sense to keep the pace of play reasonable and the round friendly makes sense
Reply : Wed 4th Sep 2013 01:16
I'm all for balance Chris, it's just that the rulesmen always seem to have the upper hand. They get a reputation as a rulesman and state the case with such conviction that they're believable. Even if the truth is contrary to their preaching, they say it was their 'interpretation'
Reply : Wed 4th Sep 2013 06:52
I agree with Chris.
In a social you turn a 'blind eye' but in an official comp it is your duty to make sure you & your playing partners adhere to the rules. That's what makes this game so great, most of the time it is self regulated so you don't need referees or officials.
I find though that when you disregard the rules in a social they become the 'norm'.
"So what if someone moves a leaf or cleans a ball? It's not as if they're teeing up a on the fairway or improving their lie in the rough?" - Patrick, perfectly legal to move a leaf in the rough as long as your ball doesn't move & perfectly legal to move a leaf in a bunker (if there is a local rule that stipulates it). Cleaning a ball - harsh I agree but if you look at it from this scenario.
You have played a par 5, hit the fairway from the tee, hit the fairway with your 2nd & your 3rd is just short of the green (nice clean ball!). Your opponent sprayed it off the tee into the trees, hacked it in the thick rough for his 2nd & thinned it just short of the green for his 3rd (muddy ball!!). Do you think he should be entitled to clean his ball so it's nice & immaculate like yours??
In your situation Patrick if you don't agree with a ruling someone has called on you, you have the right to play another ball. So you play 2 balls to finish out the hole. When your round is finished you go check the ruling with your pro or an official & then write the score for the ball that was played correctly.
Back to my last post. Learn the rules, there mainly there to help, not hinder!
All sports have their own set of rules. Would you allow a competing football team to stick a player on the goal line & ignore the offside rule? Would you allow a cricketer to stand right in front of the stumps & ignore the LBW rule??
Where does it end then??
Nick - you should join a club, there's nothing more enjoyable than teeing it up in a monthly medal.
The problem I found before I joined a club & was only playing in societies was everybody was playing to a different set of rules. I followed a group where one player hit most of his shots OB. I played out of my skin to record 39 points, I was pipped by 1 point.......by the player I saw it hit OB most times. When I looked at his score card he had carded mostly pars on those holes. When I asked him about it he said "yes, I went OB so I dropped one, hit my 2nd to the green & 2 putted!!". That's when I decided to join a club so I could be confident that everyone would be playing off the same level field.
Last edit : Wed 4th Sep 2013 06:58
Reply : Wed 4th Sep 2013 11:48
When I joined my club last year, I was always checking up with playing partner and opponents as to rulings during play. Bottom line is if you are unsure as to whether something is legal or not then ask before you do it.
I also obtained an R&A rules book which has been invaluable for some of the situations which club players get confused by. The rules are not always the easiest to interpret so I would advise any club golfer who plays in comps to have a copy and read through the more obscure rules to familiarise themselves.
Anyhow getting back to the original point of this email. I personally have never called and never would call this rule infringement on an opponent as they would of helped me out by marking their ball. Yes rules are there to be respected and adhered to, I like to play fair and to be honest and if I called this penalty I would not be surprised if my opponent just walked off the course.
I have discussed this situ with my fellow members at my club and also a couple of PGA pro's, most of their answers were not printable on a forum!
Reply : Wed 4th Sep 2013 12:47
I may be being a bit of a pedant here, but surely would any movement of the ball be construed as cleaning? Simply by marking and picking up a ball you could possibly knock a clod of dirt off, or even by picking it up briskly or even with a gloved hand? At what point is one deemed to have cleaned it? Seems to me that it's another one of the rules that's a bit too open to interpretation, especially in this circumstance.
Reply : Wed 4th Sep 2013 14:07
Not pedantic at all Tim, in fact a good point. It demonstrates how ambiguous some rules are (and I'n convinced that certain manipulative rulesmen contrive penalties that are not) there and the inevitable bad feeling they create, especially in a match play situation.
Reply : Wed 4th Sep 2013 15:54
Tim, I agree how could you accuse someone of cleaning a ball by just lifting it, however putting it into your pocket is another thing entirely. As I've said before I personally wouldn't call someone up on it but by the same token I wouldn't label someone as pathetic for using the rules to their advantage.
Horses for courses.
It seems there is a divide here, club golfers who play competitive golf & nomads who play mostly social rounds. I think this is where the line is getting blurred.
As someone who plays a lot of competitive club competitions I can assure you that in match play there is a lot of psyching each other out, whether that be banter, not conceding short putts etc. it's all perfectly legal & as long as its done in the right spirit can be very enjoyable.
Patrick, I'm not sure where you have received bad feeling for calling someone up,on a rule but I've always found that if I call someone up they are mostly grateful. 1) for educating them on the rules & 2) they wouldn't want to win by cheating. Whenever I've been pulled up I just accept that I made a stupid mistake & make sure I never repeat it again.
Patrick, where would you draw the line before you saw someone accidentally or intentionally breaking the rules before you pulled them up? I'd be interested to know.
Reply : Wed 4th Sep 2013 16:32
John, don't assume my indifference to minor rules with lack of competitive spirit. I'm all for banter and pressure but without the two tier system of those who apply rules to the nth degree and those who choose not to. You can end up spending most of your time either looking in a book or out on the course worrying if you've done the right/wrong thing rather than playing the game. I have not had bad feeling from someone who I have called a rule as I've never done it. I have told people before they've taken a shot and had people tell me before I've taken a shot which is fine. What I cant cope with is the people who relish the fact that someone has broken a rule and apply the penalty. I'm sorry but as far as winning they've won on a technicality.... IMO of course. We can trade text but it's all academic so best we leave it at that.
Reply : Wed 4th Sep 2013 17:09
I don't spend my time looking in a book or worrying on the course. I've learned the basic rules which should put most people in good stead.
I would still be interested to hear where you draw the line between minor & major rules?
All of the NvS I have played in have been played in a very good competitive spirit. I'm sure no one hopes that an opponent breaks a rule but if they do how will that player learn from it unless there told about it?
Reply : Wed 4th Sep 2013 19:05
I really have enjoyed reading all contributions on this theme and still find it hard to come down strongly on one view or another. John, your final point regarding people failing to learn if infractions are not pointed out to them is valid and difficult to disagree with (rules are rules after all), whilst the initial description of the judgement for a lifted ball being inadvertantly cleaned is I agree harsh. Perhaps it is the ambiguities in a large body of rules wherein lies the problem. I can only conclude that we choose to play this wonderful game and for the most part it is played in a spirit of competition are companionship. I would not seek to gain an unfair advantage and I suppose that as long as one remains within the rules that is all we can ask. Cheers!
Reply : Wed 4th Sep 2013 21:25
John I'm not talking about you: when I say 'you' I mean 'me' looking at rules books and wondering if I'm breaking a rule if I accidntally fart when I'm bending down to tee up because it's captain's day and we're playing off the yellows. Where do I draw the line? I suppose minor rules where no advantage has been gained should go to room 101 but to tell you the truth I've had enough about talking about rules (is it a two stroke penalty if thread has more than 50 contributions?). One word of warning to all. If you do play a rulesman, don't play for money.
Reply : Wed 4th Sep 2013 22:29
As a one time caddy on the Old Course I can confirm that even the members of the R&A break this rule time and again. I would always advise my 'bag' to hold it in forefinger and thumb and be very public in so doing. Rules are rules but my first response - even in a tight match - would be to advise my opponent that they were breaking the rule and be aware of it in future. I think there is always room for gentlemanly conduct in golf - one of the reasons I play it I think :-D
Reply : Thu 5th Sep 2013 06:30
I agree Trevor.
I've played with many a 'rulesman' & most times they have helped me out with rules.