Ask the Rules Guy: Raging rapids and ball markers

Wednesday June 30th, 2010
Jason Raish

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\nDEAR RULES GUY: I hit a drive into a creek that was near some out-of-bounds stakes. When I reached the creek, I watched as the water carried my ball downstream from in-bounds to OB. I told my friend I was entitled to the original lie and should be able to drop outside the water hazard with a penalty rather than a stroke-and-distance penalty for OB. He said it only matters where my ball finally came to rest. Who's right?
—Candace Lee, via e-mail

The raging rapids not only sent your ball OB, they also washed you back to the tee. Under Decision 26-1/7, because the ball lies out of bounds, you have to proceed under Rule 27-1b, which covers the stroke-and-distance penalty. Water is not considered an outside agency, so the ball would not be replaced under Rule 18-1, which covers balls moved while at rest.

\nDEAR RULES GUY: Without my knowledge, my match-play opponent marked the position of my ball for me and set it aside on the green. After I putted from that spot and holed out, he told me that he had marked the position of my ball and lifted it, and that I should've putted from a different spot. Should I have been penalized?
—Nelson Moore, Lancaster, Calif.

When your opponent marked the position of your ball and lifted it without your authority, he was penalized one stroke under Rule 18-3b for causing your ball to move other than during a search. He was then required under Rule 9-2b(i) to inform you that he had incurred a penalty. When he failed to do so before you made a stroke, he gave you wrong information and in match play would incur a loss of hole penalty under Rule 9-2b. So much for being 'considerate.'

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