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bkuehn1952

Competitor fixes spike mark on your line of putt

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You have a delicate downhill 6-footer for par but you note two pretty large spike marks in your line.  A fellow competitor putts first and his ball ends up on your line but only three feet from the hole.  He stares at his ball and you sense he is about to smash down those two spike marks.  The thought crosses your mind that flattening those spike marks will make your putt a lot easier.  As you are pondering whether to warn him about not fixing spike marks he smashes the spike marks and rolls in his putt.

Do you accept a 2-stroke penalty and advise him to add 2 to his score?  Or do you consider your delay in warning the other player to not have risen to the level of tacit approval of his actions?

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You have a delicate downhill 6-footer for par but you note two pretty large spike marks in your line.  A fellow competitor putts first and his ball ends up on your line but only three feet from the hole.  He stares at his ball and you sense he is about to smash down those two spike marks.  The thought crosses your mind that flattening those spike marks will make your putt a lot easier.  As you are pondering whether to warn him about not fixing spike marks he smashes the spike marks and rolls in his putt.

Do you accept a 2-stroke penalty and advise him to add 2 to his score?  Or do you consider your delay in warning the other player to not have risen to the level of tacit approval of his actions?

2 stoke penalty for him, nothing for you, IMO.  You are not responsible for his actions, unless he is your partner or unless you actively collude with him to circumvent the rules.

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2 stoke penalty for him, nothing for you, IMO.  You are not responsible for his actions, unless he is your partner or unless you actively collude with him to circumvent the rules.

Not quite, decision 13-2/36 applies.....

13-2/36

Competitor Sanctions Repair of Spike Damage on His Line of Putt by Fellow-Competitor

Q.If a fellow-competitor purposely improves the competitor's line of putt by repairing spike damage, the fellow-competitor is penalized under Rule 1-2 . If the fellow-competitor's action is sanctioned, tacitly or otherwise, by the competitor, is the competitor also subject to penalty?

A.Yes, under Rule 13-2 , for allowing his line of play to be improved.

Now the question becomes, as the OP asked, did you give tacit approval by not taking any action to prevent it.  That's a tough one.....but since the OP stated in his question that he "sensed" that the fellow competitor was about to tap down the spike marks and also recognized that doing so would be to his benefit, both before the FC actually tapped down the offending marks, I've got to say penalties to both.

@Fourputt , @Dormie1360 , @Rulesman .....?

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You are not responsible for his actions, unless he is your partner or unless you actively collude with him to circumvent the rules.

Your opinion agrees with mine in as much as the player did not know his fellow competitor was going to tamp down the spike marks; he merely suspected his fellow competitor might do so. The USGA has decided that a player does not have to directly approve of the other player improving one's line; if a player tacitly permits the improvement, the same penalty is assessed to both players.  In this instance the player did nothing to give his fellow competitor the idea to fix the spike marks and the player did not remain silent in hopes his fellow competitor would fix them.

BTW, this actually happened to me in a tournament this year.

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Your opinion agrees with mine in as much as the player did not know his fellow competitor was going to tamp down the spike marks; he merely suspected his fellow competitor might do so. The USGA has decided that a player does not have to directly approve of the other player improving one's line; if a player tacitly permits the improvement, the same penalty is assessed to both players.  In this instance the player did nothing to give his fellow competitor the idea to fix the spike marks and the player did not remain silent in hopes his fellow competitor would fix them.

BTW, this actually happened to me in a tournament this year.

I believe it all comes down to your own feeling whether you had enough reason to think he is going to improve your line of putt and enough time to give him a warning. Should you feel you lacked one or the other you are off the hook.

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Not quite, decision 13-2/36 applies.....

13-2/36

Competitor Sanctions Repair of Spike Damage on His Line of Putt by Fellow-Competitor

Q.If a fellow-competitor purposely improves the competitor's line of putt by repairing spike damage, the fellow-competitor is penalized under Rule 1-2. If the fellow-competitor's action is sanctioned, tacitly or otherwise, by the competitor, is the competitor also subject to penalty?

A.Yes, under Rule 13-2, for allowing his line of play to be improved.

Now the question becomes, as the OP asked, did you give tacit approval by not taking any action to prevent it.  That's a tough one.....but since the OP stated in his question that he "sensed" that the fellow competitor was about to tap down the spike marks and also recognized that doing so would be to his benefit, both before the FC actually tapped down the offending marks, I've got to say penalties to both.

@Fourputt, @Dormie1360, @Rulesman.....?

Does it matter that his actions were intended to improve his own line and it seems coincidental that the other line was also fixed? It is not as if he was trying to improve your line, he was improving his.

If the guy had said something like, "I'm going to fix these #*$% spike marks." and you said nothing, then you gave approval by doing nothing. Or, if he fixed the first and you didn't say anything as he moved to fix the second, you could be considered to have gives "tacit" approval. But if your wondering if you are tacitly approving as he looked at the marks, I would side with not expecting you to have physic powers to know what he was going to do.

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Does it matter that his actions were intended to improve his own line and it seems coincidental that the other line was also fixed? It is not as if he was trying to improve your line, he was improving his.

If the guy had said something like, "I'm going to fix these #*$% spike marks." and you said nothing, then you gave approval by doing nothing. Or, if he fixed the first and you didn't say anything as he moved to fix the second, you could be considered to have gives "tacit" approval. But if your wondering if you are tacitly approving as he looked at the marks, I would side with not expecting you to have physic powers to know what he was going to do.

I got the impression the the spike marks were between the two balls. ie not on the other player's line but on the poster's line only.

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I got the impression the the spike marks were between the two balls. ie not on the other player's line but on the poster's line only.

That would be pretty generous of him. :-)

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Quote:

Originally Posted by David in FL

Not quite, decision 13-2/36 applies.....

13-2/36

Competitor Sanctions Repair of Spike Damage on His Line of Putt by Fellow-Competitor

Q.If a fellow-competitor purposely improves the competitor's line of putt by repairing spike damage, the fellow-competitor is penalized under Rule 1-2. If the fellow-competitor's action is sanctioned, tacitly or otherwise, by the competitor, is the competitor also subject to penalty?

A.Yes, under Rule 13-2, for allowing his line of play to be improved.

Now the question becomes, as the OP asked, did you give tacit approval by not taking any action to prevent it.  That's a tough one.....but since the OP stated in his question that he "sensed" that the fellow competitor was about to tap down the spike marks and also recognized that doing so would be to his benefit, both before the FC actually tapped down the offending marks, I've got to say penalties to both.

@Fourputt, @Dormie1360, @Rulesman.....?

Does it matter that his actions were intended to improve his own line and it seems coincidental that the other line was also fixed? It is not as if he was trying to improve your line, he was improving his.

If the guy had said something like, "I'm going to fix these #*$% spike marks." and you said nothing, then you gave approval by doing nothing. Or, if he fixed the first and you didn't say anything as he moved to fix the second, you could be considered to have gives "tacit" approval. But if your wondering if you are tacitly approving as he looked at the marks, I would side with not expecting you to have physic powers to know what he was going to do.

If you were able to tell what he was planning to do, had time to prevent it and took no action, then you are at fault.  If you were not watching, or if it happened like with Dyson and he did it so abruptly that you didn't have time to react, then you are in the clear.  Your vulnerability for his acts depends on whether or not you were aware of his intentions and and whether or not you had time to react to that awareness.

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Not quite, decision 13-2/36 applies.....

13-2/36

Competitor Sanctions Repair of Spike Damage on His Line of Putt by Fellow-Competitor

Q.If a fellow-competitor purposely improves the competitor's line of putt by repairing spike damage, the fellow-competitor is penalized under Rule 1-2. If the fellow-competitor's action is sanctioned, tacitly or otherwise, by the competitor, is the competitor also subject to penalty?

A.Yes, under Rule 13-2, for allowing his line of play to be improved.

Now the question becomes, as the OP asked, did you give tacit approval by not taking any action to prevent it.  That's a tough one.....but since the OP stated in his question that he "sensed" that the fellow competitor was about to tap down the spike marks and also recognized that doing so would be to his benefit, both before the FC actually tapped down the offending marks, I've got to say penalties to both.

@Fourputt, @Dormie1360, @Rulesman.....?

Yeah the word actively was probably poorly chosen on my part.  But even tacitly has the connotation of some kind of indication of approval of the action, I think.  And if it is silence I think it has to be silence in th face of more than just a wondering thought about whether the guy is going to do something.  Which was nowhere present in the OP's story.  He was wondering if the guy was going to do it and then bam, the guy did it  Where did he approve of the action?  It isn't as if the guy said I'm going to fix that spikemark and the OP stayed silent.  Or what if the guy said that and the OP said "No, you can't do that it is a penalty" and the guy did it anyway?  Clearly no penalty for the OP, yet he still benefits.Maybe if the guy had been regularly tamping down spikemarks all round long and then the situation arose where it was on the same line as the OP there might be a case, since the OP would then have a real suspicion, not just a wondering thought.  But otherwise, I just do not see it

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If you were able to tell what he was planning to do, had time to prevent it and took no action, then you are at fault.  If you were not watching, or if it happened like with Dyson and he did it so abruptly that you didn't have time to react, then you are in the clear.  Your vulnerability for his acts depends on whether or not you were aware of his intentions and and whether or not you had time to react to that awareness.

Well put.  Along with this if there was any prearranged agreement to "help each other out with spike marks", that would be a violation or R1-3 Agreement to Waive Rules.  The penalty in that case would be disqualification to both players.

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Good discussion.  The spike marks were in both of our lines.  Up to that point, I had not seen him fix any spike marks but there was just something in the way he stared at the large and obvious marks that made me wonder if he was thinking about smashing them flat.  He acted too quickly for me to remind him of the prohibition about fixing anything but ball marks.

At least that is my story and I am sticking to it! O:)

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Good discussion.  The spike marks were in both of our lines.  Up to that point, I had not seen him fix any spike marks but there was just something in the way he stared at the large and obvious marks that made me wonder if he was thinking about smashing them flat.  He acted too quickly for me to remind him of the prohibition about fixing anything but ball marks.

At least that is my story and I am sticking to it!

I wouldn't have inferred anything from him staring at the spike marks.  How is that different than staring at them thinking how to (legally) minimize their impact on his putt?  I would have been staring at them thinking, "Which side should I go around them on?  Or should I maybe take my chances and go right over them?  Or, (crazy thought) if they are that bad should I go back to the 'back in the day' strategy for stymies and try to chip over them?"  And frankly, I would be a little offended if a fellow competitor chose that moment to warn me against fixing them, as it is pretty close to accusing me of being a potential cheater.

I don't think the Rules require to to be psychic.

The real question, in my mind, is did you call the 2-stroke penalty on the guy?

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The real question, in my mind, is did you call the 2-stroke penalty on the guy?

I pointed out the prohibition of fixing imperfections other than ball marks and he assessed the proper penalty on himself.  I do not like to think of "calling a penalty" on another player.  Usually, when presented with the facts, a player calls a penalty on himself.  When there is a dispute about the facts, I prefer to let the committee decide.

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I wouldn't have inferred anything from him staring at the spike marks.  How is that different than staring at them thinking how to (legally) minimize their impact on his putt?  I would have been staring at them thinking, "Which side should I go around them on?  Or should I maybe take my chances and go right over them?  Or, (crazy thought) if they are that bad should I go back to the 'back in the day' strategy for stymies and try to chip over them?"  And frankly, I would be a little offended if a fellow competitor chose that moment to warn me against fixing them, as it is pretty close to accusing me of being a potential cheater.

I don't think the Rules require to to be psychic.

The real question, in my mind, is did you call the 2-stroke penalty on the guy?

As long as he doesn't call you Tiger.

"hey you're not thinking of fixing those are ya Tiger?"

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I'd just take the 2 strokes and invite him to do the same.

Unlucky I loose this sunday cheerio cookie contest by two strokes and see his mate called to the podium to walk away with 3 provewans. So then I talk to the organisation and have them both disqualified and banned for 12 months. :doh:

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