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 later – 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 Concessions • 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 Penalties • 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 only) • 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 ruling • 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 matches – 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 stand: – 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 penalties • 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) Scorecards • No scorecard required in match play • Score cards are for the players’ convenience • Match play scores should be posted for handicap. 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 Problems • 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 bunkers)? • 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)?