Sometimes, a player will encounter a situation on the golf course where they are unsure what to do and how to proceed. In the final installment of The Rules of Golf series, we are going to cover how to resolve Rules issues on the golf course during your competitive round on Tour. This email is a good one to print out and keep in your golf bag to reference during your round.
How to Solve a Rules Issue on the Course
During a round, a player may be in a position where they do not know how to properly proceed under The Rules of Golf. When this happens, they have the following options:
1) Locate a Rules Referee for assistance or have a member of the Tour Team locate a Referee.
2) Consult with fellow competitors in the group to see if any are knowledgeable on the Rules of Golf. Please note that if a player is advised by their playing partners to proceed in a way that contradicts the Rules of Golf, the player receiving the advice may be penalized if they proceed in an incorrect way as they are responsible for knowing the Rules.
3) Find the appropriate section in the Rules of Golf app on your phone.
4) Play 2 balls under the Rule 20.1c(3)
Playing Two Balls Under Rule 20.1c(3)
A player who is uncertain about the right procedure, while playing a hole, may complete the hole with two balls without penalty.
· The player must decide to play two balls after the uncertain situation arises and before making a stroke.
· The player should choose which ball will count if the Rules allow the procedure used for that ball, by announcing that choice to their marker or another player before making a stroke.
· The player must report the facts of the situation to the committee (e.g., to the scorer after the round) before returning the scorecard, even if the player scores the same with both balls. The player is disqualified if they fail to do so.
· After a player has announced their intention to play two balls and has either put a ball in play or made a stroke at one of the balls, the player is committed to the procedure and should hole out with both balls. If the player does not hole out with one of the balls, and the committee rules that the ball not holed out is the one that would have counted, the player will be disqualified for failing to hole out.