Winter Rules - Placing the Ball

mikejohnchapman

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Played a knock-about 9 holes on Christmas Eve and our course has Winter Rules in place. It's very muddy so cleaning the ball is needed after evert shot.

If it were a serious round I would mark the ball and go over to my trolley to clean the ball and then return and replace it within 6" as per the rules. However, in this instance I picked the ball up and rubbed it on the ground next to where it lay before placing it ready to play my next shot.

My partner, in true Christmas spirit, pointed out that I had broken the rules because as soon as I touched the ground with my ball to wipe the mud off it was in play and I had subsequently played from the wrong place. Now this had to be taken seriously as there was tea at stake. The debate lasted a couple of holes until we had a further disagreement over abnormal ground conditions and my refusal to give him relief. Think Statler and Waldorf in the Muppets!

Whilst enjoying our drink afterwards we did muse whether he was right regarding his interpretation. In reading the rules about when the ball was back in play I could only find references to a dropped ball touching the course. I know common sense and rules don't always go hand-in-hand but surely you couldn't get called on this one (could you!).

Merry Christmas to you all.
 

YandaB

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I think that you were OK as you are covered by clarification 14.4/1. Your intent was to clean it, not put it in play.

Screenshot_20231226_133742_Rules of Golf.jpg
 

mikejohnchapman

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I know but where's the fun in that!

On a semi-serious note, I and may others have the app. What we don't have is a cell signal for the majority of the course.
 
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rulie

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The MLR for preferred lies (E-3) says to use the replacing procedure in Rule 14.2b(2) when placing the ball. That Rule includes setting the ball down by hand and letting go so that it stays on that spot.
You were fine in what you described!
 

mikejohnchapman

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These are the new rules that were revised to make them simpler and easier to understand for all golfers I assume?
He also tried to claim I had flattened a worm cast to improve my lie when I wiped the ball. He couldn't provide any proof so couldn't get away with that one (I was up at the time).
 

Crow

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He also tried to claim I had flattened a worm cast to improve my lie when I wiped the ball. He couldn't provide any proof so couldn't get away with that one (I was up at the time).

I do remember that worm casts are loose impediments, assuming that rule wasn't changed.

And correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe you aren't breaking a rule if you place your cleaned ball atop a nice big worm cast.
 

jim8flog

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I am a buggy user and often have to park it a long way from the ball.
Rather than walk back and forth to the buggy just to clean the ball my solution is to have another ball with me, chuck the dirty ball over to the buggy and place the clean ball in the required location.
Rules of Golf
14.3a

Original Ball or Another Ball May Be Used​

The player may use the original ball or another ball.This means that the player may use any ball each time they drop or place a ball under this Rule
 

salfordlad

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He also tried to claim I had flattened a worm cast to improve my lie when I wiped the ball. He couldn't provide any proof so couldn't get away with that one (I was up at the time).
When the ball is lifted to take LCP relief, you are free to remove any loose impediments, or place the ball on the cast (as others note) - so flailing away at the worm cast is legit.

Is your friend as "helpful" when not full of the Xmas spirit?

PS When dropping the ball under a rule to return it into play, it is in play as soon as it leaves your hand.
 

mikejohnchapman

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When the ball is lifted to take LCP relief, you are free to remove any loose impediments, or place the ball on the cast (as others note) - so flailing away at the worm cast is legit.

Is your friend as "helpful" when not full of the Xmas spirit?

PS When dropping the ball under a rule to return it into play, it is in play as soon as it leaves your hand.
I'm not sure helpful comes into his vocabulary. However, he is most definitely a friend!

It is amazing how the stake of "who buys the tea" can bring out the grumpyness in him. He did once do me for improving my stance by taking a practice swing on the inside of my ball before taking my stance. He always said that tea was the best he has tasted.

I make it a policy to never grant him relief from anything on the golf course which has lead to some fun debates (think about the knight in Monty Python - that isn't an abnormal ground condition!!!).
 

Jigger

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He also tried to claim I had flattened a worm cast to improve my lie when I wiped the ball. He couldn't provide any proof so couldn't get away with that one (I was up at the time).
Surely it would be advantageous to play on top of a wormcast that isn’t flattened 🤷🏻‍♂️

p.s. you two seriously need to lighten up! 😂
 
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