With severe weather predicted for this week’s US Open, the discontinuance of play could come into effect and the Rules of Golf provide a procedure when play is suspended by the Committee. When play is suspended by the Committee, if the players in a match or group are between the play of two holes, they must not resume play until the Committee has ordered a resumption of play. If they have started play of a hole, they may discontinue play immediately or continue play of the hole, provided they do so without delay. If the players choose to continue play of the hole, they are permitted to discontinue play before completing it. In any case, play must be discontinued after the hole is completed. The players must resume play when the Committee has ordered a resumption of play. (Rule 6 – 8b)
When a player discontinues play of a hole under Rule 6 – 8a, he may lift his ball, without penalty, only if the Committee has suspended play or there is a good reason to lift it. Before lifting the ball the player must mark his position. If the player discontinues play and lifts his ball without specific permission from the Committee, he must, when reporting to the Committee (Rule 6-8a), report the lifting of the ball. If the player lifts the ball without a good reason to do so, fails to mark the position of the ball before lifting or fails to report the lifting of the ball, he incurs a one stroke penalty.
The Committee may also provide, in the conditions of a competition (Rule 33-1), that in potentially dangerous situations play must be discontinued immediately following a suspension of play by the Committee. If a player fails to discontinue play immediately, he is disqualified, unless circumstances warrant waiving the penalty as provided in Rule 33-7.
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Frank Guastella, PGA Rules Official Michigan Section PGA
Staff Writer, Mike Fay Golf
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