2014 rules clinic

Rules of Golf
Match Play Basics
What’s New For 2014
Stroke and Match Play
• 2014 is a Decision Book update year
• Smart Phone/tablet APP is very useful
• Modest Number of Decision changes
Eye, not TV, judge of whether ball moved
Smartphone apps, change in what is legal—more later
Change in how far you can go and still play a “provisional”
Modest change in when OK to play out of turn in match play—more
– Some changes for four ball
• Groove Rule goes into effect for “elite amateur
competitions” (all USGA qualifiers)
Match Play Mindset
It is just you and your opponent
We aren’t “protecting the field”
More forgiving format for rules errors
Fewer opportunities for a DQ penalty
Knowing the Rules in Match Play
Not knowing a Rule is OK
Overlooking a breach by an opponent is OK
Agreeing to waive a Rule is DQ
Very different than stroke play
Order of Play
• Order of play is a major part of match play
• Order of play does not care whether you are
on or off the putting green
• Penalty for playing out of turn: opponent MAY
recall the shot.
• Don’t putt out if it isn’t your turn
• For team matches, visiting team has honor on
the first tee (local rule)
When OK to Play Out of Turn
• Limited Permission to grant opponent right to
play first to “save time”
– Forgot club on a previous hole or similar situation
– Not limited to tee shot (previous decisions)
– Not OK for continuous putting or because one
player can go for green and the other cannot
• Can concede the next stroke; this is not concession of hole
(anyone can pick up the ball)
• Can concede the hole or match before conclusion of hole or
match (don’t have to complete hole or match)
• Cannot concede after conclusion of hole or match
• Good Good is OK anytime after start play of hole
• Shaking hands is concession of next stroke of both players
• Cannot refuse or take back a concession
• All stroke play 1 stroke play penalties are the
same in match play
• Moving your opponent’s ball in play is a 1
stroke penalty. Ask before marking opponent’s
ball or it is a penalty.
• The general penalty is loss of hole; there are
no 2 stroke penalties in match play
• Loss of hole is immediate
Doubt as to Procedure
• Don’t play second ball (stroke play option
• Try to agree with opponent on correct play
• If you don’t agree, do what YOU (the player)
think is right; PLAY ON. Don’t stop play to get a
• If opponent disagrees she may make a claim if
it affects the outcome of the hole
Making a Claim
• Make the claim before teeing off on next hole
or leaving last putting green
• Example: I am making a CLAIM and want a
RULING because THIS wasn’t right
• Late claims allowed only
– If facts unknown to player AND
– Given wrong information by opponent (opponent may not have known
it was wrong)
– After results posted (sheet signed by both captains), opponent must
have known it was wrong
Focus on the Facts
• Most bad rulings result from bad or incomplete facts
• Understand what your opponent believes her score
for the hole is
• If you disagree on outcome of hole, first focus on the
facts, not the penalty:
– What do you agree on
– What do your disagree about
• Watch your language
– Partner, competitor, opponent
– Wrong, incorrect
WGAP Protests Are Not Claims
• Claims involve a disagreement about the outcome of a
specific Hole in a single match
• Protests are for issues involving a match or the whole set of
– You have made a claim and think you have been given an incorrect
ruling that affects the outcome of the match
– You believe a team match procedure has been violated
– You believe a player or the team has been treated in a way
inconsistent with the spirit of the game
• Be clear about the difference when asking for help
Status of the Match
• Your opponent is entitled to know where things
– If asked, you must provide CORRECT information on number of strokes
taken BEFORE opponent plays her next shot
– If you have had a penalty stroke and your opponent did not see it, you
must inform her as soon as practicable
• Difference between incorrect and wrong information
– Timing can turn incorrect info into wrong info
– Incorrect info isn’t wrong Info if it doesn’t affect outcome of the hole
Adjustment Penalties
(More than 14 Clubs)
• Adjustment to the state of the match
penalties include club and caddie penalties
• These are NOT loss of hole penalties or stroke
• Play out and determine the result of the hole
by skill; then adjust state of match
Playing Outside the Teeing Ground
• Opponent MAY recall the shot
• This includes things like teeing off on the
wrong hole or from the wrong teeing ground
(white tees versus red tees)
• No scorecard required in match play
• Score cards are for the players’ convenience
• Match play scores should be posted for
Stroke and Match Play Reminders
Ball at Rest Moved
• If YOU move your ball, replace, 1 stroke penalty
– Includes balls moving after address since you are deemed
to have moved it; new exception “known or virtually
certain” something other than gravity moved it
– Don’t replace is a 2 stroke penalty
• If your ball moves on its own, play it from new
location, no penalty
• This rule covers lots of other situations
– Kick ball in frustration after missing putt
– Pick up ball to take relief and then decide relief is no good
Water Hazards
• Regular (yellow) 3 options
– Play ball as it lies
– Stroke and distance
– Draw line from flag to where last crossed margin and drop as far back
on that line as desired
• Lateral Hazard (red)
– All 3 options for regular
– 2 club lengths from where last crossed margin
– 2 club lengths from equidistant point on opposite margin of hazard
• Dropping zones only in play if on local rules sheet
DMD’s and other devices
• Use of DMD’S is a DQ penalty UNLESS a local rule is in effect. 1
measurement is DQ
• WGAP does not permit use of smartphones during stipulated round
• 2014 decisions in effect make it OK to use smartphones as DMD’s where
the club or association allows use of smartphones on the course
• What changed
– Decision that said using a compass is OK
– Decision that said a weather app is OK
– What is not OK is having on the phone an app that measures something that changes
and is on the course (wind speed at the airport 5 minutes ok does not tell you what the
wind speed is on the 8th tee box)
• If using a medical device (fingers taped together, arthritis gloves), report it
ahead of time.
Local Rule Sheet Avoids Rule
• Use specimen local rules in rules book for proper and
complete wording
• Lift clean and place must specify “distance”
• Embedded ball “through the green” recommended
• Are you using dropping zones?
• Do you have sandy areas that are not bunkers (waste
• What defines out of bounds?
• Are flower beds mandatory ground under repair?
• Any other ground under repair that isn’t marked by white
lines? Any new sod (consider sod seam rule)?
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