By Rules Guy
Thursday, June 07, 2007

Got a question for the rules guy, e-mail him at

Dear Rules Guy: My opponent and I were in a greenside bunker. He hit first, and the shower of sand from his swing covered my ball. I dusted off the sand, but he cried foul and made me replace the grains on my ball. What's your take? —Stanley M., via e-mail

Did you also let him give your girlfriend a foot massage while you fetched them both a Fresca? Never let a Rules bully kick sand in your face, or on your ball. You were entitled to the lie that your stroke — not his — gave you. You may remove sand that's caused from another player's shot under an analogous ruling, Decision 13-4/18. If you accidentally move the ball in that process, there's no penalty, and you can replace it.

Rules Guy: My playing partner moved his marker one clubhead length because it was in my line, but he didn't move it back. I said nothing until he hit, and then I busted him. Was that too cutthroat? What's the penalty? —Paul G., via e-mail

You play to win, Paul — and good on ya. Life is filled with lessons, after all, and your rival learned to pay close attention to the Rules. According to Rule 20-7, he played from the wrong place. That's a two-stroke penalty in stroke play or loss of hole in match play. Speaking of lessons, I recently learned that you should never take a bath with your cat. Every day's a school day!

Got a question for the rules guy, e-mail him at

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