When driving from the tee

Teeing mistakes and the rules that need to be adhered to on the teeing ground are the focus of this week’s questions.
Issue date 13 February 2009

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Question: I accidentally teed up in front of the line between the two markers on the teeing ground and played my drive. Realising my error, I played the shot again from the correct side. Neither I nor my opponent knew whether a penalty was involved. Can you clear the point?
Answer: You don’t mention the type of match played. In match play, your opponent had to make the decision. In terms of the relevant rule, he could have asked you to play the ball from the correct spot without penalty. In stroke play, you would have incurred a penalty of two strokes and would have had to play a ball again from the correct side.

Question: In preparing to drive from the tee ground, am I allowed to stand outside the two markers?
Answer: Yes, as long as the ball remains between the markers and within two club-lengths behind them.

Question: At the tee ground, my opponent played a stroke with a plastic ball before playing his ball in play. Was his action a breach of the rules?
Answer: Yes, this is not allowed. But he must have been an enthusiastic beginner!
Question: After a heavy shower, my drive from the tee ground came to rest under a tree. A branch of the tree interfered with my backswing, so before I played my next stroke, I shook the water off this branch as I did not want falling drops to break my concentration. Was this a breach of the rules?
Answer: Yes, in moving the branch you also removed the drops, which could have caused a distraction. So your action improved your line of play, as well as the area of your intended swing. In match play, you would have lost the hole and in stroke play, you would have been penalised two strokes. – George Nicholas
E-mail your inquiry to [email protected] or post to Box 12444, Clubview, 0014.     |fw

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