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Rules Question

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The 4th tee at my favorite local course backs up to the High School. Some joker pulling out of the parking lot blew his horn just as someone was in their backswing. He proceeds to make the ugliest pull hook ever. He immediately tees up another. I don't know him, it's a casual round and we're not playing for money so no big deal to me.

Buuuuuuuttt...say we were playing for money. What's the ruling? Play it as it lies? Outside influence has no effect? New shot allowed? I looked on the USGA Rules website but couldn't find anything that fit that situation.

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I'm no pro, fairly new to the game but do believe in tournament play it's a disqualification is the previous ball is inbounds and playable. I"ll be interested in hearing the pro's comments on this as I'm waiting to receive my copy of The Rules of Golf.

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This happens a lot on one of the courses I play frequently.

Let's just say that, while it may not be the same as a car horn blowing, I've never seen Tiger awarded a "mulligan" when a photographer clicks off a shot in the down swing.

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If he declares his first ball unplayable, and re-tees, it's a two-shot penalty (basically) and the next ball he hits from the tee is his third (the two shots being the first tee shot and then the actual penalty stroke).

He could also declare the ball lost - same penalty.

The USGA website says nothing about an "outside influence" affecting someone's swing because there really is no such thing. You play golf in the same locations as everyone else that day, so whatever the "conditions" are you deal with them. The only time an "outside influence" comes into play is when they move the ball or give advice. Noise is not an outside influence unless, in a rare instance, it might qualify as a "dangerous situation" (free drop away from the dangerous situation).

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Based on watching the Big Break this year and after one of Sergio's errant drives yesterday...

Another tee shot can be hit as a provisional if the ball appears to be lost. But you still have to look for the ball (for up to 5 minutes I believe). If not found that you play the provisional and are hitting 3. If you find it and it is playable then you are hitting 2, if not playable then drop and hit 3.

In this case you just said it was hooked and did not say that it looked lost. So assuming he knew it wasn't lost then he should not have taken another tee shot and just gone out and hit it.

However, if it were me and I was playing with a friend even for money I would let him hit again, assuming it was someone intentionally blowing their horn to mess someone up. It shows you are a good sport and you never know if or when you will need them to give you a break.

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Based on watching the Big Break this year and after one of Sergio's errant drives yesterday...

You don't have to look for the ball because you can always take an unplayable. If you hit from the same spot, you end up with the same result (stroke and distance penalty).

In the Big Break, they PLAYED a provisional because they thought it might be lost. There's a difference between declaring a provisional in case of a lost ball versus declaring the original ball unplayable. In the latter case, the second ball is not a provisional, but is in play.

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If he declares his first ball unplayable, and re-tees, it's a two-shot penalty (basically) and the next ball he hits from the tee is his third (the two shots being the first tee shot and then the actual penalty stroke).

I thought so. I figured that the intentional act of blowing the horn may have had some impact. His drive was not OB, it was just really bad.

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Note: This thread is 4787 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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