There are a few strange little twists that come into play when determining whose turn it is to play. Here are a few examples.
Example 1: Both players A and B hit their second shots into a large area of casual water in a bunker on the left side of the third fairway. Player A’s ball is in the middle of the large puddle and cannot be seen or found but it is known or virtually certain the ball is in the puddle. Player B’s ball is just in the edge of the casual water, farthest from the hole than Player A‘s ball and is easily retrievable.
Both players decide take relief from the casual water. Player A uses the reference point where his ball last crossed the outermost limits of the casual water in taking relief. However, he decides to drop outside the bunker under penalty of one stroke keeping the spot where the ball lay between the hole and the spot on which he drops (Rule 25-1b(ii)(b)). On the other hand, Player B uses his nearest point of relief and drops within one club-length of that point, staying inside the bunker without taking a penalty stroke(Rule 25-1b(ii)(a)).
After both players have dropped, Player A is further from the hole. Whose turn is it to play?
Example 2: Player A hits a long drive that sails into an area of thicket on the right side of the fourth hole. Player B drives off the tee and safely hits the fairway. Player A properly announces and plays a provisional ball which comes to rest just short of player B’s drive. Both players go forward to search for player A’s original ball.
After a brief search, Player A’s original ball is found in a terrible lie. Player A abandons his provisional ball as required and decides to declare his original ball unplayable and return to the tee hitting three. Whose turn is it to play?
In both cases, it is Player B’s turn to play. The Note under Rules 10-1 and 10-2 is the key. It says that when a ball may be played from a spot other than where the previous stroke was made, the order of play is determined by the position of where the original ball came to rest.
In both cases, Player A was not required to play another stroke from where the previous stroke was made, even though it was an option. Therefore, the position of where the original balls came to rest determined whose turn it was to play. Player B’s ball was further from the hole in both cases and thus it was his turn to play.
Remember, knowing and following the Rules of Golf can assist you in avoiding unnecessary penalties and help you to enjoy this great game of golf even more.
Go ahead; it’s your turn to play.