News and Blogs
IJGT Rules Blog
Ball Assisting or Interfering with Play
At every IJGT Tournament, players encounter situations where they are unsure of how to proceed under the Rules of Golf. In this brand new blog series, we will be highlighting a scenario from one of our prior tournaments. Real on-course examples allow us to better understand the complicated set of guidelines we call rules. Contrary to popular belief, the Rules of Golf are there for the player’s benefit.
Last weekend at La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, Calif., we had a situation involving Rule 22 – Ball Assisting or Interfering with Play. Player A and Player B’s golf balls were sitting about a foot away from each other. Player A believed the ball in front of him would interfere with his swing, so he asked Player B to mark his ball. After marking his ball, Player B put it off to the side and let Player A hit. After that Player B placed it back in front of his mark.
You are probably wondering why asked is underlined in the paragraph above. Well, believe it or not, in the situation above Player B could not have marked his ball without Player A’s permission.
One important aspect of the situation that often gets overlooked is what Player B did after he marked the ball. It is recommended that a player mark the ball, and pick it up with two fingers and put it back on the ground off to the side. The reason for this being that under Rule 22 the player is not allowed to clean the ball when it is lifted. Although unintentional, putting a ball in your pocket in this situation could be seen as cleaning the ball, which would cause a one stroke penalty.
Quiz of the Week:
Including the scenario above, there are five situations when the Rules of Golf do NOT allow you to clean your golf ball.
1) Lifting a ball that is assisting or interfering with play
2) Lifting a ball to determine if it is embedded
3) Lifting a ball to determine if it is in a burrowing animal hole
What are the last two situations where you CANNOT clean your ball when lifting it from the course? Email your responses to Kyle Wolfe (firstname.lastname@example.org). Every answer will be entered into a drawing to receive a dozen Bridgestone golf balls!
4) Lifting a ball to see if it is unfit for play (damaged, cracked, etc)
5) Lifting a ball when identifying your ball
Check out the previous Quiz of the Week with the correct answer here.
Have questions about the Rules of Golf? Email IJGT Tournament Director, Kyle Wolfe (email@example.com).