Dear Rules Guy: I hit my second shot on a par 4 to gimme range. My friend then hit his to 10 feet. On the green, I tapped in first for a birdie. Should I have received a two-stroke penalty for putting out of turn, since my friend’s ball was farther from the cup? Is stroke play different from match play in this instance?
-- Jim Eastman, Naples, Fla.
Playing out of turn is taboo, even when it speeds up play. In match play, the ball farthest from the hole must be played first. While there is no penalty for jumping the gun, Rule 10-1c allows your opponent to immediately recall the stroke and have it played at the appropriate time. Stroke play differs: Rule 10-2c says that when a ball is played out of turn, the stroke counts, and the ball is played as it lies. A penalty only occurs in stroke play if the shot is made out of turn to help another player.