Originally Posted by sacm3bill
For me, the point was in determining what the actual legality of the "practice ball on the first tee" was. I've been accused of the opposite many times in this thread, but I am and always have been a stickler for the rules. So this topic was of particular interest to me because I like to be as informed as possible about the rules and how they are interpreted, and I enjoy discussions about that.
Likewise. I have been a pretty vociferous defender of strict application of the rules.
Very disappointing that people I generally have so much respect for are so close-minded that they cannot even interact with the arguments made and that even when the USGA says that something is legal they take a holier than thou attitude towards even the USGA position. (and I know I haven't posted the exact statements of the USGA person, but if anyone who has participated in this discussion PMs me with a request I will PM them back the actual exchange) Also disappointing is the nastiness in the argument, continuing to call it a mulligan when that was clearly not what was being discussed.
To sum up the actual conclusions:
1) Mulligans, i.e., hitting a second shot when the first was intended to count but went bad, are against the rules - no one has argued otherwise. Despite the nastiness in some of the accusations.
2) According to the USGA, in a private round the players, acting as the Committee, can waive the prohibition against pre-round practice and allow a pre-designated practice shot (or shots) on the course.
All of the other posturing and nastiness are meaningless. You raised a good question initially and it turned out that your tentative conclusion was correct.
And I will reiterate that the reason I got into this wasn't so much the practice shot on the first tee, which I agree is an unlikely scenario, but the situation I detailed where by agreement with my playing partner we have played the last 3 or 4 holes of the course as a pre-round warm-up before going on to play our 18 holes. CLEARLY that is allowable, under the reasoning given by the USGA no matter how some might still object to it. I will also add that the only reason it IS OK is because 7-1 gives the Committee authority to waive the rule against on-course pre-round practice. If 7-1 did NOT give the Committee that authority then it would NOT be OK to do what we did. I'm not arguing for some antinomian position where the players can do anything they want under the guise of being their own committee. They are still bound by the restrictions that apply to the Committee.
Finally I need to correct something that FourPutt said that is just wrong. In one of those messages he indicated that if a player is DQed his score is invalid for posting for handicap purposes. This is in direct contradiction of the Handicap manual which reads in section 5-1, in relevant part:
A player who is disqualified from a competition, but has an acceptable score, must record an adjusted gross score for handicap purposes. For example, a player who is disqualified from a competition for failure to sign a scorecard has an acceptable score for handicap purposes.
And with that, I am out of this discussion.
Edited by turtleback - 7/5/13 at 8:02pm