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Rules Violations You Witness

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I observed a rules violation during my US Open Qualifier on Monday, and the worst part was the FSGA rules official was right there and missed it!

One of my playing competitors had to play a shot out of a hazard on the 17th hole. He had a marginal lie, but hacked at it and it moved past the large bush he was behind. The ball had gotten through the bush, but was still in the hazard and he didn't see that. Looking to his caddy after the shot, he grounded his club while asking him where the ball went. He realized it hadn't cleared the hazard and then proceeded to hit his next shot on the green. He didn't asses himself the 2 stroke penalty for grounding his club in a hazard.

Should I have called him on it? Probably. Maybe. There was an FSGA official standing there helping him search for the ball and he either didn't see it or decided not to call him on it either. Since he was on his way to shooting 83 anyway, I didn't call it. I spoke to him about it after we signed our cards, and I guess I was the only one that ever noticed the infraction. We had a good laugh about it, and he'll know better than to ground his club in a hazard before confirming the ball is actually out of said hazard!

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The one I always see is grounding a club in a hazard or bunker. I have seen many time when the amount of sand that goes back is equal to the amount of sand that goes forward. Also, teeing the ball in front of the markers. I usually don't mention either. If you hit sand backwards, there is a good chance that you are not shooting a good score anyway.

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Probably the only rules violation I am consciously aware of routinely violating is leaving the pin in the hole while putting on the green. I only do this when I'm playing alone, but If I'm alone I almost always do it. I will remove the pin if my putt has left me close to the hole, but otherwise I simply don't like taking the time to walk over to the pin and remove it. When I play alone I like to keep things moving, especially if I'm concerned with maintaining pace behind any groups in front of me. If I'm playing with a group or another player then I always remove or tend the pin, but that's because the pace is so much slower when playing with even one other person. But the fact is if you strike the pin while putting on the green that's a 2 stroke penalty.

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Probably the only rules violation I am consciously aware of routinely violating is leaving the pin in the hole while putting on the green. I only do this when I'm playing alone, but If I'm alone I almost always do it. I will remove the pin if my putt has left me close to the hole, but otherwise I simply don't like taking the time to walk over to the pin and remove it. When I play alone I like to keep things moving, especially if I'm concerned with maintaining pace behind any groups in front of me. If I'm playing with a group or another player then I always remove or tend the pin, but that's because the pace is so much slower when playing with even one other person. But the fact is if you strike the pin while putting on the green that's a 2 stroke penalty.

I used to do this, but I find it better to walk up to the hole and look for subtle breaks and unrepaired ball marks (there should be a penalty for not repairing one actually). Walking to the hole also helps me feel the break or lack thereof. If I am playing alone, I figure I have more than enough time to do this since it is only one person is putting instead of four, but I am rarely getting pushed unless I am sandwiched between groups and have nowhere to go. I will have to wait on the next tee for the group ahead of me anyway.

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The one I've seen probably more often is the guy with 15 or 16 clubs in the bag. Fine if you want to drag around more weight as long as you declare which ones are out of play. I played a tournament round a few years ago with a guy who had 18 clubs with him and then threw a fit when he got called on it. He was putting up a radio station so I didn't care, but the guy who called it waited until the 18th tee. The fight was pretty funny though. Now if we were playing for money... I'm calling it halway down the first fairway!

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Surprised no one has said this yet. I see people sharing clubs frequently. It doesn't bother me, but I regularly hear one player ask another if he can borrow his 4-iron, and so on.

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One that I see routinely violated in the Pacific Northwest is relief from casual water. Especially in winter the courses are soft to say the least but unless the ball or stance is in casual water or it "percolates" up when you take your stance you have to play it where it lies. Mushy ground does not in and of itself define casual water.

It isn't straight out to the fairway from where the ball ends up in the hazard, it's where it last crossed the margin that's your reference point. Another pretty simple rule that many players are a bit foggy about. And when they do pick the right point, then they drop on line of flight, instead of back on the line drawn from the point on the hazard margin to the hole. Again, you will be playing from a wrong place... 2 strokes.

For a lateral water hazard? Doesn't 26.1-c cover it so it doesn't have to be draw on a line? Maybe something else is being considered in this situation but I was always and still am under the impression that as long as I get the last point the ball crossed a margin correct I have the option to drop within two club lengths not nearer the hole at that point not matter where the hole lies.

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One that I have seen recently was removing your ball from the cup with the flag stick after having chipped or putted in from off the green.

That is not a penalty, but if the ball comes out of the hole, you have to place the ball on the lip and then finish the hole. I think.....

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That is not a penalty, but if the ball comes out of the hole, you have to place the ball on the lip and then finish the hole. I think.....

I don't think so. Once the ball comes to rest in the hole, the hole is completed.

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The one I've seen probably more often is the guy with 15 or 16 clubs in the bag. Fine if you want to drag around more weight as long as you declare which ones are out of play. I played a tournament round a few years ago with a guy who had 18 clubs with him and then threw a fit when he got called on it. He was putting up a radio station so I didn't care, but the guy who called it waited until the 18th tee. The fight was pretty funny though. Now if we were playing for money... I'm calling it halway down the first fairway!

I don't believe there is an option to declare a club out of play. If it is in the bag on the course, it counts.

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Removing loose impediments in a hazard.
Brushing sand from the green when your ball is off the green.
Grounding your club in a hazard.
Not taking complete relief from casual water.
Re dropping when you don't get a good lie

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I don't believe there is an option to declare a club out of play. If it is in the bag on the course, it counts.

It's allowed if you declare it before you start your round. Once you hit the first shot, it's an automatic 2 stroke or loss of hole.

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It's allowed if you declare it before you start your round. Once you hit the first shot, it's an automatic 2 stroke or loss of hole.

Yes. You are correct. Sorry.

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It's allowed if you declare it before you start your round. Once you hit the first shot, it's an automatic 2 stroke or loss of hole.

Just ask Ian Woosnam! BTW, it's a 2 stroke penalty for each hole played in stroke play. Ouch.

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It looks like the max is 4 strokes in stroke play and 2 holes in match play. Correct?

Correct.....sorry, I should have noted the max there.

Interestingly, if you're playing match play and make the discovery after losing the first two holes, you're still assessed the additional 2 hole penalty so you'd be 4 down after 2 holes played. Now that would really suck!

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Note: This thread is 4072 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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