Ask Rules Guy

Wednesday October 31st, 2007

Got a question for the rules guy, e-mail him at rulesguy@golf.com

DEAR RULES GUY: My ball came to rest on the green in an unrepaired pitch mark. I argued that I could mark and lift my ball, move my marker and then repair the depression. But a buddy in my foursome said I couldn't fix it because it was a pitch mark from another ball. Enlighten us, please.Juan Chacin, via e-mail

A: You were not only on the mark, Juan, but on the mark, too. According to Rule 16-1c, you may repair any hole plug or other damage to the green caused by the impact of a ball, even if that damage is under your ball. If you accidentally move your ball marker while repairing the green, you may replace it without penalty.

DEAR SIR RULES-A-LOT: After apparently sticking an approach shot, I neared the green only to find that a prankster in the group ahead had jammed the flagstick in the ground some 40 feet from the actual hole. I thought I could I replay the shot, but my pal disagreed. What doth you say?Stacey Cody, via e-mail

A: Sorry, Stacey, but the joke's on you. The Rules address this prank with Decision 1-4/3, which states that players must accept the resultant advantage or disadvantage from a wise guy lodging the flagstick somewhere other than the hole. As for Mr. Funnypants? Resist lodging your foot in his backside and report his antics to a ranger. He won't be laughing for long.

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