Matchplay - Foursomes / Lining up a playing partner (2 parts)

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Not a situation I am involved in but happened to someone I know.

In a foursomes match, one player helped to line up a putt and was standing behind his playing partner. The player took the putt whilst PP had not yet moved away.

I believe this is not permitted, as would be the case if a caddy stood directly in line when the putt was taken?

The opponents called this after googling it on the next hole…

Issue 1: player A says they were in the process of moving away when the putt was taken so it’s not like they’re saying “yeh I didn’t move” and admitting to it, so that’s I guess their word against another?

Issue 2: they didn’t call it immediately, and only once they were half way down the next hole and had confirmed it wasn’t allowed did they flag it up. At that point, is it too late?

Of course, the result was either 1up or A/S depending on if the hole in question was halved or lost due to the penalty.

I personally wouldn’t be calling this at all in a match, and if you do, you better be doing it immediately and making sure you’re acting within the rules for claiming a hole due to an infringement. Things were… a little bit frosty after the match was completed. I would likely be sleeping on it and offering a rematch.
 

pendodave

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Not a situation I am involved in but happened to someone I know.

In a foursomes match, one player helped to line up a putt and was standing behind his playing partner. The player took the putt whilst PP had not yet moved away.

I believe this is not permitted, as would be the case if a caddy stood directly in line when the putt was taken?

The opponents called this after googling it on the next hole…

Issue 1: player A says they were in the process of moving away when the putt was taken so it’s not like they’re saying “yeh I didn’t move” and admitting to it, so that’s I guess their word against another?

Issue 2: they didn’t call it immediately, and only once they were half way down the next hole and had confirmed it wasn’t allowed did they flag it up. At that point, is it too late?

Of course, the result was either 1up or A/S depending on if the hole in question was halved or lost due to the penalty.

I personally wouldn’t be calling this at all in a match, and if you do, you better be doing it immediately and making sure you’re acting within the rules for claiming a hole due to an infringement. Things were… a little bit frosty after the match was completed. I would likely be sleeping on it and offering a rematch.
It is definitely not permitted.
Bizarrely, I don't think that it is against any particular rule for an opponent to stand behind the line of a putt to see the line. Though most people think that it is.
In this particular incident, I would imagine that once the hole is finished and the next one started it's not possible to change the outcome.
 

Steven Rules

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Issue 1: player A says they were in the process of moving away when the putt was taken
Note that the player cannot be in the restricted area from the time their partner begins taking a stance for the stroke (which means they have at least one foot in position for that stance). (Rule 10.2b(4)) On the OP words above, it sounds to me like the player was still in the restricted area while the partner was taking the stance. General penalty.


Issue 2: they didn’t call it immediately, and only once they were half way down the next hole and had confirmed it wasn’t allowed did they flag it up
If the player knows or believes that the opponent has breached a Rule that has a penalty, the player may choose whether or not to act on the breach. (Rule 3.2d(4)) "Obviously" the side chose not to act on the breach at the time. The issue needed to be resolved, or a request for a ruling made, before any player made a stroke to begin the next hole. Clarification 20.1b(2)/1 makes it clear that whether a ruling will be given depends, inter alia, on when the player becomes aware of the facts, not when they learned that something was a penalty. Players are expected to know the Rules (Rule 1.3b(1)) and in match play players should protect their own rights and interests under the Rules. (Rule 3.2d(4))
 

salfordlad

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Issue 1: the claim that the partner was backing away is irrelevant; this is a breach of 10.2b(4) and the only way to avoid the penalty is for both partners to back out before play and the relevant partner to resume and make the stroke unassisted. So this was a breach and the partner putting incurred the general penalty. But no ruling was sought in a timely manner (before any stroke was made from the next tee), so all scores count without penalties applying. Which also deals with Issue 2. And as noted above, the match result is locked in, there is no capacity to revisit the result.
 

Steven Rules

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Issue 1: the claim that the partner was backing away is irrelevant; this is a breach of 10.2b(4) and the only way to avoid the penalty is for both partners to back out before play and the relevant partner to resume and make the stroke unassisted. So this was a breach and the partner putting incurred the general penalty. But no ruling was sought in a timely manner (before any stroke was made from the next tee), so all scores count without penalties applying. Which also deals with Issue 2. And as noted above, the match result is locked in, there is no capacity to revisit the result.
Snap.
 

Orikoru

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Similar happened to me and a mate in a match once. He was idly standing behind me while I was lining up my putt. I had no idea he was even there, he certainly wasn't helping me in anyway, but as soon as I addressed the ball our opponents called foul. I hadn't even hit the putt yet, they said the breach had already occurred when I addressed the ball. So I just picked it up as I was effectively out of the hole. I know rules are rules and all that, but I thought it was absolutely ridiculous to call that on us, left a very sour taste in the mouth and there was not much conversation on the back nine afterwards. It boggles my mind that people actually want to win a match that way.

How the hell does it even help you line it up to have someone standing behind you?? Surely it would make more sense if they were standing in front of you to give you a point to aim at?? One of the dumbest rules there is.
 

Lord Tyrion

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How the hell does it even help you line it up to have someone standing behind you?? Surely it would make more sense if they were standing in front of you to give you a point to aim at?? One of the dumbest rules there is.
'Left a bit, right a bit'. Behind is the perfect way to line someone up. Far better than lining up yourself.

Next time you are out with your wife, line a putt of hers up from behind. It really does work well, assuming the person making the putt can hit where you line them up to hit.

I think the idea behind it was to stop caddies lining up pro's, from memory. Not particularly relevant at our level but golf does like rules to be universal so.................
 

pendodave

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Similar happened to me and a mate in a match once. He was idly standing behind me while I was lining up my putt. I had no idea he was even there, he certainly wasn't helping me in anyway, but as soon as I addressed the ball our opponents called foul. I hadn't even hit the putt yet, they said the breach had already occurred when I addressed the ball. So I just picked it up as I was effectively out of the hole. I know rules are rules and all that, but I thought it was absolutely ridiculous to call that on us, left a very sour taste in the mouth and there was not much conversation on the back nine afterwards. It boggles my mind that people actually want to win a match that way.

How the hell does it even help you line it up to have someone standing behind you?? Surely it would make more sense if they were standing in front of you to give you a point to aim at?? One of the dumbest rules there is.
I'm with you in this. It's a friendly match, so people who wait until you've teed off before pointing out you are over the line, or the sort of thing you mention above are beyond the pale.
If someone acts like that, I'd just ask them how desperate they are to win. And why.
 

Orikoru

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'Left a bit, right a bit'. Behind is the perfect way to line someone up. Far better than lining up yourself.

Next time you are out with your wife, line a putt of hers up from behind. It really does work well, assuming the person making the putt can hit where you line them up to hit.

I think the idea behind it was to stop caddies lining up pro's, from memory. Not particularly relevant at our level but golf does like rules to be universal so.................
But the rule is that they can't stand there full stop, even silently. 😂 He can stand next you and discuss the line and where to aim to your heart's content. But he can't stand behind you and say nothing. The rule is codswallop.

Yes it likely was for caddies, but Wyndham Clark's caddie addressing the putt with a wedge while the player stands behind (in the exact place where the caddie isn't allowed to stand) is absolutely fine. Again, it's codswallop.
 

cliveb

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It is definitely not permitted.
Bizarrely, I don't think that it is against any particular rule for an opponent to stand behind the line of a putt to see the line. Though most people think that it is.
In this particular incident, I would imagine that once the hole is finished and the next one started it's not possible to change the outcome.
I see nobody has followed up on this.
I am one of those people who was under the impression that you're not allowed to stand behind the line of a putt when an opponent or FC is making a putt.
(I recall a time when Phil Mickelson stood aside and then ran back to watch the putt once it was in motion).
But I can't find it in the rules.

Is it really not prohibited?
Is it just an etiquette thing?
 

Slab

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I see nobody has followed up on this.
I am one of those people who was under the impression that you're not allowed to stand behind the line of a putt when an opponent or FC is making a putt.
(I recall a time when Phil Mickelson stood aside and then ran back to watch the putt once it was in motion).
But I can't find it in the rules.

Is it really not prohibited?
Is it just an etiquette thing?

Etiquette only I think (although may be corrected)
Nothing rules wise I believe from stopping another player, not in your side/team, from standing behind you to watch your putt (assuming he doesn't distract etc)
 

pendodave

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Etiquette only I think (although may be corrected)
Nothing rules wise I believe from stopping another player, not in your side/team, from standing behind you to watch your putt (assuming he doesn't distract etc)
As I mentioned, I think this is the case.
Which begs the question, if someone does this, is asked not to, and politely declines, what then?
Is there a Mexican standoff while the decisions chapter of the rulebook is analysed in ever decreasing circles?
 

rulie

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As I mentioned, I think this is the case.
Which begs the question, if someone does this, is asked not to, and politely declines, what then?
Is there a Mexican standoff while the decisions chapter of the rulebook is analysed in ever decreasing circles?
One would hope a sense of decency would prevail, but if not, I would refuse to play until s/he moves. Then call a Committee member if s/he doesn't move.
 
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Thanks for the replies, nothing that has changed my view or the general consensus of those at the bar. Whilst it was a penalty, it should have been called immediately. The fact that they mentioned it between themselves and googled the rule whilst walking up the next fairway to confirm, before calling it to the attention of the other team has worked against them.

Now, the match should have gone to a playoff hole as the result would have correctly been all square. However, because of the penalty incident, they’ve claimed a 1up win. I would guess if it reaches the committee, they’ll encourage both sides to agree to a replay, as that seems like a better resolution than to turn up just to play the playoff hole!
 

nickjdavis

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There is no scope for a replay. It is as much the "injured parties" responsibility to protect themselves from the rules....in this case they should have known that although a breach had occurred, the claim was not made in a timely fashion, and told their opponents to sod off in same spirit in which their opponents wanted to claim the hole.
 

SwingsitlikeHogan

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Not disputing the rulings cited and conclusions reached, but I find the rule a bit odd in the context of foursomes, fourball yes and for obvious reasons. In foursomes a pair is playing ‘as one’ and so I’d instinctively think the non-shot playing partner can take precisely the same view as the playing partner. Four ball is quite different as each player is playing his own shots for his own score. They then choose the best. So wondering on the logic of the rule for foursomes…I’m sure there will be something I’m missing.
 

jim8flog

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As I mentioned, I think this is the case.
Which begs the question, if someone does this, is asked not to, and politely declines, what then?
Is there a Mexican standoff while the decisions chapter of the rulebook is analysed in ever decreasing circles?
This comes under
1.2 Standards of Player Conduct
1.2a Conduct Expected of All Players
All players are expected to play in the spirit of the game by:
• Acting with integrity – for example, by following the Rules, applying all penalties,
and being honest in all aspects of play.
• Showing consideration to others – for example, by playing at a prompt pace,
looking out for the safety of others, and not distracting the play of another player.
If a player plays a ball in a direction where there might be a danger of hitting
someone, they should immediately shout a warning, such as the traditional
warning of “fore”.

Whether or not there is a penalty depends upon the club and have they written guidelines within their own rules

1.2b Code of Conduct
The Committee may set its own standards of player conduct in a Code of Conduct
adopted as a Local Rule.
• The Code may include penalties for breach of its standards, such as a one-stroke
penalty or the general penalty.
• The Committee may also disqualify a player for serious misconduct in failing to
meet the Code’s standards.
See Committee Procedures, Section 5I (explaining the standards of player conduct
that may be adopted).
 

salfordlad

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Similar happened to me and a mate in a match once. He was idly standing behind me while I was lining up my putt. I had no idea he was even there, he certainly wasn't helping me in anyway, but as soon as I addressed the ball our opponents called foul. I hadn't even hit the putt yet, they said the breach had already occurred when I addressed the ball. So I just picked it up as I was effectively out of the hole. I know rules are rules and all that, but I thought it was absolutely ridiculous to call that on us, left a very sour taste in the mouth and there was not much conversation on the back nine afterwards. It boggles my mind that people actually want to win a match that way.

How the hell does it even help you line it up to have someone standing behind you?? Surely it would make more sense if they were standing in front of you to give you a point to aim at?? One of the dumbest rules there is.
There are so many misunderstandings here it is hard to know where to start. Your opponents were simply wrong, they made a rubbish claim and you acceded to it. This is the risk if you can't get your head around the rule. There is/was no automatic penalty for 'being there'. The breach is for helping and being there when the stroke is made. It can be avoided by both backing away prior to the stroke. And there is no penalty for inadvertently being there.
 
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