Rule of the Week
May 3, 2016
Harry and Lloyd are playing a recreational round of golf.  When they arrive at the 7th green they find the flagstick has not been returned into the hole properly and has damaged the hole.  
  • When Lloyd removes the flagstick, what are his options?
  • Can he fix the hole even when the Rules of Golf state he is not allowed to touch the line of putt?  

DECISION 16-1a/6 Damaged Hole; Procedure for Player
QUESTION Prior to putting, a player discovers that the hole has been damaged. What is the proper procedure?
ANSWER If the damage is not clearly identifiable as a ball mark, then:
(a) If the damage is such that the proper dimensions of the hole have not been changed materially, the player should continue play without repairing the hole. If he touches the hole in such circumstances, a breach of Rule 16-1a occurs.
(b) If the proper dimensions of the hole have been changed materially, the player should request the Committee to have the hole repaired. If a member of the Committee is not readily available, the player may repair the damage, without penalty.
If a player repairs a materially damaged hole when a member of the Committee is readily available, he incurs a penalty for a breach of Rule 16-1a

Since this is a recreational round of golf, Lloyd may carefully recreate the proper circumference of the hole.  If it is significantly damaged, they should find a member of the grounds crew to cut a new hole location for the rest of the patrons playing the course that day.
Happy golfing and remember the Rules of Golf Matter

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