Ask the Rules Guy
Jason Raish
Wednesday, January 04, 2012

• Got a Rules question? Zip it to

Rules Rep: After hitting my drive into the rough, I walloped my second shot and lost my ball out of bounds. Or at least I thought it was my ball. After dropping (taking stroke and distance) and hitting my next shot into the green, I found my real ball just a few yards ahead. I finished out with my original ball, but neither I nor my opponent had any idea how to score the hole. What should I have done?
-- Kellen Fein, Astoria, N.Y.

Hey Rules Guy: My temperamental friend took a big hack in a fairway bunker and moved his ball all of about 3 feet, still in the bunker. Disgusted, he slammed his club into the sand. Looking to kick him when he was down, I informed my buddy that he had to take a penalty for touching the bunker with his club. He claimed that since he had already taken a stroke in it, he could no longer "test" the bunker's condition. Was he right?
-- Howard Steller, Washington, D.C.

If your buddy keeps up his angry antics it's going to cost him a lot of friends and a lot of strokes. Decision 13-4/35 reinforces your argument that your friend's action was in violation of the rule prohibiting players from touching the bunker with their clubs (Rule 13-4b), even though he had already played a ball in that trap. You should gently tell him that his temper tantrum cost him two strokes or the loss of the hole in match play. And if he's got a club in his hand, maybe you should tell him over the phone.

Rules Guy: While hitting a ball out of a bunker, I hit it a second time with my club on the follow-through. What's the correct ruling?
-- Duane F. Pruett, via Facebook

This article first appeared in the February 2012 issue of Golf Magazine. The February issue is on newsstands and the tablet version is available for free for magazine subscribers on iPad, Kindle Fire, Nook Tablet, Nook Color and Samsung Galaxy Tab. Learn more


You May Like