What Is Meant By Testing The Conditions of a Golf Hazard?

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In this latest article Frank discusses the dos and don’t when pertaining to golf hazards.  Rule 13-4 Ball in Hazard; Prohibited Actions states: “Except as provided in the Rules, before making a stroke at a ball that is in a hazard (whether bunker or water hazard) or that, having been lifted from a hazard, the player must not: a) Test the condition of the hazard or any similar hazard.”  What is meant by “test the condition of the hazard” in Rule 13-4a?
The term encompasses all actions by which the player could gain more information about the hazard than could be gained from taking his stance for the stroke to be made, keeping in mind that a certain amount of digging in with the feet in the sand or soil is permitted when taking the stance for a stroke.
Examples of actions that would not would not be deemed testing the condition of the hazard include:
     *digging in with the feet for a stance, including for a practice swing, anywhere in the hazard or in a similar hazard;
     *placing an object, like a club or rake, in the hazard;
     *leaning on an object (other than a club) such as a rake while it is touching the ground in the hazard or water in a water hazard;
     *touching the hazard with an object (other than a club) such as a towel;
     *marking the position of the ball with a tee or otherwise when proceeding under a Rule.
Examples of actions that would be deemed testing the condition of the hazard in breach of Rule 13-4a include:
     *digging in with the feet in excess of what would be done for a stance for a stroke or practice swing;
     *intentionally sticking an object, like a rake, into sand or soil in the hazard or water in a water hazard (but see Rule 12-1);
     *filling in footprints from a previous stance (e.g. when changing stance to make a different type of stroke);
     *smoothing a bunker with a rake, club or otherwise (but see Exception 2 to Rule 13-4)
     *kicking the ground in the hazard or water in a water hazard;
     *touching the sand with a club when making a practice swing in the hazard or in a similar hazard (but see Exception 3 to Rule 13-4).
If you have questions on the Rules of Golf or comments on this article please direct them to Mike Fay Golf.  As always, here is hope that you are Playing By The Rules!
Frank Guastella, PGA Rules Official Michigan Section PGA
Staff Writer, Mike Fay Golf
If you have a question for Frank here’s where you can contact him.
Email:  fguastella@franklin-golf.net
To “follow” Frank on Twitter click here
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Preventing Penalty Strokes

 

Frank Guastella PGA Rules Coach

The other day I was asked by a player in a tournament I was officiating at that if I observe a player about to breach a Rule, may I warn the player and thus prevent a penalty.  The answer to this question is yes.

A referee is not obligated to warn a player who is about to breach a Rule, it is generally recommended that a referee should do so.  If a referee volunteers information about the Rules, he should do so uniformly to all of the players.  However, in match play where a referee has not been assigned to accompany players throughout the match, the referee has no authority to intervene and, therefore, must not warn the player other than in relation to Rule 1-3, 6-7, or 33-7.

A “referee” is one who is appointed by the Committee to decide questions of fact and apply the Rules.  He must  act on any breach of a Rule that he observes or is reported to him.  A referee should not attend the flagstick, stand at or mark the position of the hole, or lift the ball or mark its position.

If you have any questions regarding the Rules of Golf please send them to Mike Fay Golf via email, Facebook, Twitter and we will answer them for you.  Here is hoping you are “Playing By The Rules”.

Frank Guastella, PGA Rules Official Michigan Section PGA
Staff Writer, Mike Fay Golf
If you have a question for Frank here’s where you can contact him.
Email:  fguastella@franklin-golf.net
To “follow” Frank on Twitter click here
To “like” Frank on Facebook click here

What Is The Teeing Ground?

Frank Guastella PGA Rules Coach

Ahh, the teeing ground.  Where it all begins!

Most players just tee the ball up between the markers and hit.  There is much more to the teeing ground.  In the next video in the Playing By The Rules Video Series, Mike and Frank discuss the actual area of the teeing ground and it’s dimensions.  You’d be surprised to see how big it actually is.  Why is that a big deal?  Mike and Frank discuss it.

Please leave your comments below!  Thanks for watching!

If you have any questions regarding the Rules of Golf please submit them to @new.mikefaygolf and we will get them answered for you.  Here is hoping that you are “Playing By The Rules.”

Frank Guastella, PGA Rules Official Michigan Section PGA
Staff Writer, Mike Fay Golf
If you have a question for Frank here’s where you can contact him.
Email:  fguastella@franklin-golf.net
To “follow” Frank on Twitter click here
To “like” Frank on Facebook click here

Movable Obstruction

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On the April 13, 2014 edition of the Mike Fay Golf Twitter Show #askthepro, the question posed to me was what happens when you hit your ball into a garbage can on the golf course?  I did my best to answer the question in the 140 characters or less that Twitter allows, but I feel the answer needs a more complete explanation and this forum gives me the opportunity to better explain the Rule.

The garbage can is a movable obstruction which means it can be moved without unreasonable effort, without unduly delaying play and without causing damage.  Under Rule 24 -1b Movable Obstruction, if a ball lies in or on the obstruction, the ball may be lifted and the obstruction removed.  The ball must through the green or in a hazard be dropped, or on a putting green placed, as near as possible to the spot directly under the place where the ball lay in or on the obstruction, but not nearer the hole.  The ball may be cleaned when lifted under this Rule. If for some reason the ball to dropped or placed under this Rule is not immediately recoverable, another ball may be substituted.

If you have any questions regarding the Rules of Golf please submit them to Mike Fay Golf and I will answer them for you.  Here’s hoping you are ‘’Playing By The Rules”.

Frank Guastella, PGA Rules Official Michigan Section PGA
Staff Writer, Mike Fay Golf
If you have a question for Frank here’s where you can contact him.
Email:  fguastella@franklin-golf.net
To “follow” Frank on Twitter click here
To “like” Frank on Facebook click here

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