One Thing Leads to Another
At the recent Senior Amateur Match Play Championship at Black Diamond Ranch in Lecanto, an official was summoned to the ninth green for a ruling.
The player believed his ball to be embedded (Rule 25-2) in the side of a grassy slope behind the green. Sounds pretty simple, right?
The official confirmed that the player was entitled to relief for an embedded ball and watched as the player took relief.
The player dropped the ball on a part of the course the Rule required. However, as a result of the slope the ball rolled nearer the hole. The player was required to re-drop the ball (Rule 20-2c). He did so and once again the same result occurred. As per the Rule, the player was now required to place the ball at the spot where it first struck a part of the course on the second drop.
The player attempted to place the ball but it wouldn’t stay there. That triggered Rule 20-3d, (Ball Fails to Come to Rest on Spot), which led the player to his next step. He had to find the nearest spot, no nearer the hole, where he it would stay at rest.
That step was accomplished but now the player was faced with a difficult stance as the ball lay on a steep side hill slope. He assessed his options and simulated a swing over the ball that he thought would work.
Before he could make a swing, the ball began to move and tumbled down the slope nearer the hole some five yards away. Now what?
He called the official back over and explained that he had not addressed the ball. He said that it just moved on its own!
After making sure that the player had not caused the ball to move, the official told the player to play it as it lies without penalty; even though it had rolled nearer the hole (last paragraph of Rule 20-3d).
Remember, use the index or the table of contents to find the correct Rule that applies to the situation and follow the Rules of Golf to help yourself to enjoy the game of golf.