Mark Your Golf Ball

Mark Your Golf Ball

PGA Pros receive a monthly magazine with insider information that I like to share with my golfing friends when I feel it might be beneficial to them.  This is one of those situations.

Make Sure to Mark Your Golf Ball!

This article was by Larry Startzel, PGA Professional.

At a recent stroke play event, a player pulled his tee shot toward a lateral water hazard.  When he got to the area, he found two golf balls a few feet apart with identical markings. Both balls were the same brand and had the same number association logo on the side.  One ball was just outside the hazard and the other was just in the lateral hazard.  Neither ball had an identifying mark on it. Next time, mark your golf ball!

golf-rules-change-2014Twice in the rules (Rule 6-5 and Rule 12-2) it is stated: “The responsibility for playing the proper ball rests with the player.  Each player should put an identification mark on his ball.” This situation is a perfect example of why the Rules encourage such an action. Mark your golf ball.

Although there was a plentiful and highly competent Rules staff at the event, players were encouraged to invoke Rule 3-3 (Doubt as to procedure) if they encountered a difficult situation and an official was not readily available.

With this in mind, the player announced his intention to play two balls under Rule 3-3.  He dropped one ball from the lateral hazard and played the other ball outside the hazard.  He holed out with both balls and completed the round reporting the situation to an official in the scoring tent.  Usually proceedings under Rule 3-3 in stroke play saves a player from having a Rules problem when in doubt of what to do.  This situation, however, had a twist to it.

Here’s why.  Decision 27-10 states that if two identical balls are found in the same area and the player cannot identify one as his, then his ball is deemed lost – i.e. neither ball is considered to be his.

Thus, the player should have returned to the tee and played under stroke and distance.  Since he did not and then played from the next teeing ground, he was disqualified for a serious breach of Rule 27.  What they call on tour a “trunk slammer.”

Make sure you mark your golf ball with a clear identifying mark on your golf ball and show it to your competitors on the first tee.  If you’re changing balls during a round make sure you announce that to our competitors as well.

Bottom line, mark your golf ball!



Golf Rules Change 2014

Golf Rules Change 2014

The USGA and R & A make changes in the rules every two years.  You should know the new golf rule change 2014 goes into effect January 1st, 2014.  I’ll mention a few here but for a full review of all the changes you can go to:  While you’re there, why not pick up a copy of the rules and keep it handy in your golf bag.  You might need it if you’re stuck playing golf with that one member at your club that’s a stickler about rules. 

golf-rules-change-2014One important change I think is Revised Decision 27-2a/1.5 which now allows a player to advance as much as 50 yards forward without forfeiting his/her right to go back and play a provisional ball.

How about a golf rules change 2014 because of the new technology age. Decision 14-3/18 allows players to access weather reports on their cell phone during a round of golf, for safety matters and in search of any approaching thunderstorms.  Sounds like a good cover when they’re actually looking at some swing video of Paula Creamer.

Here’s one I like!  Decision 18/4 addresses HDTV, and digital recording visual media that might show a golf ball not coming to rest or to have been deemed to have moved.  It will now be considered that if the movement was not discernible with the naked eye at the time, no penalty will be enforced.

I’ve got abetter idea.  Tell the idiot that’s sitting in his sofa watching the tournament to butt out!  I’ve also always wondered, how do these knuckle heads find the right phone number to call to say they saw a violation of the rules on TV?  Did he call the club house?  Does he have the officials on speed dial? Imagine how many Dolphin fans would have called immediately about the Pittsburgh Steelers going out of bounds!  They are just fans and should not influence the game.

I believe a rule should be enforced at the time of the infraction.  Even in football, after the review and next play is snapped that’s it.  Ya no mas! It’s over and get over it!  Why should the officials or anyone else be able to walk up to a player three or four holes later and say, hey pal back on number four you did so and so.  We’re tagging you with two a strokes penalty!  Heck they have an official with every group.  Where was that guy when it happened?  Why don’t we tag him with a couple of beauties right in the kisser!  That’s two strokes he won’t forget soon.

You can see all the golf rules change 2014 at