That fatal touch

A slight touch on a ball in play, whether accidental or deliberate, may prove costly if you don’t know the rules

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Question: In playing my own ball on the putting green in a four-ball match, I touched my partner’s ball, which was lying close to mine, and made it move. What would be the ruling in such a case?
Answer: That was unfortunate. You incurred a penalty stroke and you had to replace his ball on its original spot. Your partner incurred no penalty.

Question: In a stroke play competition, I had a long putt to the hole. I didn’t
think my opponent’s ball would interfere with my putting line, so I didn’t ask him to lift it. My putt was a bad one and en route collided with my opponent’s ball. Did I incur a penalty?
Answer: Yes, that cost you a penalty of two strokes and you had to play your next shot as your ball lay. Your opponent had to replace his ball on the original spot at which it had come to rest.
Question: Preparing to putt,
I first took three practice strokes.
At the third backswing I accidentally struck the ball farther from the hole. Have I made a proper stroke?
Answer: No, with that backswing you obviously had no intention of moving the ball, so you incurred no penalty. You were only required to replace the ball on its original spot and play your putting stroke.

Question: My line of play on the green was affected by a pitch mark made by my partner’s ball. Was I entitled to relief?
Answer: If the pitch mark was there before your ball came to rest, you wouldn’t have been entitled to relief. If the pitch mark was created after your ball had come to rest, you were free to repair it without penalty.

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Question: Before lifting my ball on the green, I marked the spot with a wooden peg. Then my opponent’s ball collided with the peg and it was diverted. What is the ruling here?
Answer: As your opponent apparently failed to ask you to move your peg to the side, he had to play his ball as it lay. No penalty was incurred by either of you. – George Nicholas
E-mail your inquiry to [email protected] or post to Box 12444, Clubview, 0014.     |fw