Do You Agree With This Golf Rule?

By admin April 20, 2015 17:30

Do You Agree With This Golf Rule?

Editor’s Note: Is this a chicken-shi_ rule or what? No reflection on Keenan at all. He’s a rules expert and is very objective. He states the rule without commentary or subjectivity. A rule, is a rule, is a rule in golf but, in my opinion, some are definitely chicken-shi_.   —Dan Poppers


 A Rule, Is A Rule, Is A Rule— Like It or Not!

By Keenan Barber


 Match play: one player tees on wrong hole (opposite direction of the hole to be played). The group then discovers the error….

In match play and after finishing hole 12, Jamie and Tom mistakenly walked to the teeing ground of hole 16 which played in the opposite direction of hole 13. After Jamie hit his tee shot and while Tom was preparing to tee off, Tom realized they were on the wrong hole and said to Jamie, “We need to find the teeing ground for number 13—you just teed off on hole 16!”


After they teed off on hole 13 and while walking down the fairway, Tom said, “I think you lose the hole since you played from the wrong tee. You should have played that original ball!”


Jamie replied, “I assumed you recalled my tee shot when you said, ‘We need to find the teeing ground for number 13’.”

“No, I didn’t recall your shot. You lose the hole.”

Jamie replied, “Well, I think we both lie one here on the 13th fairway” and he requested an opinion from a Rules Official.


Both players scored four counting the strokes played from the 13th tee. How did the committee rule?




Recognizing the importance of the “spirit of the game,” Tom might well have agreed that by proceeding to the proper hole, he had in effect recalled Jamie’s stroke. However, since Tom insisted that Jamie’s original ball was in play (some 600 yards from hole 13), and that he had no intention of recalling the shot, the committee ruled that Jamie had, by abandoning that ball and substituting a different ball on hole 13, played from a wrong place (rule 20-7) and indeed lost the hole.


Whether you agree with this rule or not, in golf a rule, is a rule, is a rule.


Note: this situation actually occurred in an SCGA team match in 2015 and that there is not a USGA decision that applies.— KB


Keenan Barber is a longtime, dedicated amateur golfer and board member of several golf organizations dedicated to improving the sport.


Photo: MIke Bower, amateur golfer, also thinks some golf rules are unfair but he abides by them.

By admin April 20, 2015 17:30