Rules of Golf - Oh Phil, Add Two...Again
Phil Mickelson was back in the news again this past week at the PGA Tour’s Military Tribute at The Greenbrier. In the final round, Mickelson reached the 7th teeing ground and was planning on hitting a low long iron shot off the tee on the short par 4. Before making the stroke he noticed some long grass in front of the teeing ground that was standing up. Thinking his low shot might come close to the grass, he walked forward and pressed down the grass with his foot. Shortly after, he felt he breached a Rule and consulted a Rules Official who correctly informed him that it was a two-stroke penalty in stroke penalty (loss of hole in match play).
The Rule Mickelson broke was Rule 13-2: Improving Lie, Area of Intended Stance or Swing, or Line of Play. The Rules states that a player must not improve or allowed to be improved four specific items, and one of them is “his line of play or a reasonable extension of that line beyond the hole.” The grass Mickelson stepped on improved his line of play for this tee shot.
There are some exceptions to Rule 13-2 and one of them specifically applies to the teeing ground. There is no penalty if a player creates or eliminates irregularities of surface within the teeing ground or by removing dew, frost or water from the teeing ground. The teeing ground is the area between the two tee markers and within two club lengths back. The grass Phil stepped on was near the teeing ground, but it was not within this teeing ground.
Rule 13: Ball Played as it Lies, is one of the most important Rules for players to know. Find the complete Rule here.
Click here to view the video of Phil breaking Rule 13.