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MEfree

Ball moved after marking/replacing on green before being addressed

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After marking/replacing my ball on the green today, it moved while I was taking a practice stroke.  I had not addressed the ball-

1.  Is there a penalty?

2.  Does it need to be replaced?

3.  Assuming the answer to 2 is NO what is there a penalty for replacing the ball?

I thought I would find this easily in the rules, but after skimming 16, 18, 20 and 21 I am still not sure.

Thanks

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Originally Posted by MEfree

After marking/replacing my ball on the green today, it moved while I was taking a practice stroke.  I had not addressed the ball-

1.  Is there a penalty?

2.  Does it need to be replaced?

3.  Assuming the answer to 2 is NO what is there a penalty for replacing the ball?

I thought I would find this easily in the rules, but after skimming 16, 18, 20 and 21 I am still not sure.

Thanks

Providing it is certain that you did not cause the ball to move there is no penalty and the ball must be played from where it finished.

If you replace it then there is a penalty of one stroke for moving your ball and another if you don't put it back where it rolled to.

See Decision 18-2a/7

http://www.randa.org/en/Rules-and-Amateur-Status/Rules-of-Golf.aspx#/rules/?ruleNum=18&subRuleNum;=2&decisionId;=5B9F8B72-22A4-49BA-AF44-B1A40890722A

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Originally Posted by Rulesman

Providing it is certain that you did not cause the ball to move there is no penalty and the ball must be played from where it finished.

If you replace it then there is a penalty of one stroke for moving your ball and another if you don't put it back where it rolled to.

See Decision 18-2a/7

http://www.randa.org/en/Rules-and-Amateur-Status/Rules-of-Golf.aspx#/rules/?ruleNum=18&subRuleNum;=2&decisionId;=5B9F8B72-22A4-49BA-AF44-B1A40890722A

How is one to be certain that they did not cause the ball to move?  Other than the fact that I had marked and then replaced the ball, it seems similar to the situation a few weeks ago when Rory`s ball settled down in the rough after he took a practice swing.

Here, I had a downhill putt and the ball moved forward (down) maybe 1/4 of a ball.  Like with Rory, gravity and the weight of the ball causing grass to compress were likely the main causes, but it is possible that light wind and/or vibrations from stepping/swinging could have also played a roll.

Being that I replaced the ball, it sounds like the most favorable ruling would be if I caused it to move and thus incurred a 1 stroke penalty, right?

OTOH, If I didn`t cause it to move, then I am looking at a 2 stroke penalty for replacing the ball as that is what I did.   At least I didn`t ground my club before 3 putting and risk incurring another penalty.

So if you were the rules official, what would your ruling be?  Do I hit the green in regulation and make double or triple?

Also, instead of having the complicated rules/rulings related to this, what would be the problem with the following:

On the PUTTING GREEN, Assuming you did not TOUCH the ball:

Replace it if it moves after you mark it.

Play it from where it ends up if you did not mark it.

No Penalty

If you touch the ball and it moves, count the stroke and play it as it lies if it was with you club and replace it and take a 1 stroke penalty if you touched it with something other than your club.

"Touching" seems a like more clear cut than "causing" and on the green you don`t have all the other factors that you do from various lies through the green.

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Originally Posted by MEfree

How is one to be certain that they did not cause the ball to move?  Other than the fact that I had marked and then replaced the ball, it seems similar to the situation a few weeks ago when Rory`s ball settled down in the rough after he took a practice swing.

It is a question of fact as to whether a player has caused the ball to move.  All available evidence must be wieghed.  Proximity of practice swings, wind, slope, speed of green, etc.

Here, I had a downhill putt and the ball moved forward (down) maybe 1/4 of a ball.  Like with Rory, gravity and the weight of the ball causing grass to compress were likely the main causes, but it is possible that light wind and/or vibrations from stepping/swinging could have also played a roll.

Being that I replaced the ball, it sounds like the most favorable ruling would be if I caused it to move and thus incurred a 1 stroke penalty, right?

IF it was determined that you had caused the ball to move, yes 1PS.

OTOH, If I didn`t cause it to move, then I am looking at a 2 stroke penalty for replacing the ball as that is what I did.   At least I didn`t ground my club before 3 putting and risk incurring another penalty.

If you had grounded your club, you would have been deemed to cause the ball to move, no way out of that unless wind moved the ball so 1PS if you replace the ball, 2PS if you do not.  Likewise, if you had not grounded your club or caused the ball to move.......2PS for returning the ball to it's original positon and playing it from there.

So if you were the rules official, what would your ruling be?  Do I hit the green in regulation and make double or triple?

Hard to rule without seeing the green, however if you were on a slop and made practice swings near the ball that touched the green I think a breach of rule 18-2a is likely, 1PS as long as you replace your ball.

Also, instead of having the complicated rules/rulings related to this, what would be the problem with the following:

On the PUTTING GREEN, Assuming you did not TOUCH the ball:

Replace it if it moves after you mark it.

Play it from where it ends up if you did not mark it.

No Penalty

If you touch the ball and it moves, count the stroke and play it as it lies if it was with you club and replace it and take a 1 stroke penalty if you touched it with something other than your club.

"Touching" seems a like more clear cut than "causing" and on the green you don`t have all the other factors that you do from various lies through the green.

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If you haven't addressed the ball, you can't have caused the ball to move, and you play it from where it comes to rest. If you have addressed it, you are addressed a one stroke penalty and play it from where it cam to rest, unless it is plain to see that you did not cause it to move. A common example of this would be a strong gust of wind. This can get hairy though. If you are playing in a competition, consult a rules official immediately. If one is not available, play two balls (one from the final resting position and one from the original position) and officials can help you sort it out after the round.

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Originally Posted by geauxforbroke

If you haven't addressed the ball, you can't have caused the ball to move,

I wish that were true, but you can cause a ball to move without addressing it.

If you have addressed it, you are addressed a one stroke penalty and play it from where it cam to rest

No, you have to replace it unless the ball had started to move after the player  has begun his backward stroke, or the backward movement of the club for the stroke and the stroke is made.  See Rule 18-2b

, unless it is plain to see that you did not cause it to move. A common example of this would be a strong gust of wind. This can get hairy though. If you are playing in a competition, consult a rules official immediately. If one is not available, play two balls (one from the final resting position and one from the original position) and officials can help you sort it out after the round.

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I stand corrected on the second point. However, after replacing a ball and before address, I was under the impression that the player was not deemed to have caused the ball to move, and therefore there is no penalty. Is this incorrect?

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Originally Posted by MEfree

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rulesman

Providing it is certain that you did not cause the ball to move there is no penalty and the ball must be played from where it finished.

If you replace it then there is a penalty of one stroke for moving your ball and another if you don't put it back where it rolled to.

See Decision 18-2a/7

http://www.randa.org/en/Rules-and-Amateur-Status/Rules-of-Golf.aspx#/rules/?ruleNum=18&subRuleNum;=2&decisionId;=5B9F8B72-22A4-49BA-AF44-B1A40890722A

How is one to be certain that they did not cause the ball to move?  Other than the fact that I had marked and then replaced the ball, it seems similar to the situation a few weeks ago when Rory`s ball settled down in the rough after he took a practice swing.

You examine all of the facts.  If any act of the player can be seen as the cause then he is penalized one stroke and the ball must be replaced.  If he did nothing which could be deemed as being the cause, then there is no penalty and the ball is played from where it lies.


Originally Posted by geauxforbroke

If you haven't addressed the ball, you can't have caused the ball to move, and you play it from where it comes to rest. If you have addressed it, you are addressed a one stroke penalty and play it from where it cam to rest, unless it is plain to see that you did not cause it to move. A common example of this would be a strong gust of wind. This can get hairy though. If you are playing in a competition, consult a rules official immediately. If one is not available, play two balls (one from the final resting position and one from the original position) and officials can help you sort it out after the round.

You can take several actions which might cause the ball to move.  You might touch the ball with a club before address.  You might move a loose impediment near the ball.  You might accidentally kick the ball.  When the ball lies in the rough, you might touch the grass, even from a foot or more away, which can cause the ball to move.  I've even had it happen in the fairway when taking a practice swing.  The ball was on a tightly mowed slope, and the thump of my club on the ground sent enough of a vibration through the ground to start the ball rolling down the slope.  The practice swing was taken a foot away from the ball, but it was fairly apparent from the timing that my act was the most likely cause.

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Originally Posted by geauxforbroke

I stand corrected on the second point. However, after replacing a ball and before address, I was under the impression that the player was not deemed to have caused the ball to move, and therefore there is no penalty. Is this incorrect?

As pointed out above it is a question of fact whether a player has caused his ball to move or not. In the absence of such fact AND the player has nor addressed his ball AND an outside agency has not moved the ball it is played where it ended up.

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Originally Posted by Dormie1360

It is a question of fact as to whether a player has caused the ball to move.  All available evidence must be wieghed.  Proximity of practice swings, wind, slope, speed of green, etc.

Sounds a lot like what I studied in Law School...So where is the burden of proof and what is the standard of proof?

Assuming you are innocent until proven guilty and the standard is beyond a reasonable doubt, then I would would expected almost all triers of fact to say I did not cause the ball to move.

Assuming you are innocent until proven guilty and the standard is a preponderance of the evidence, then I would would expected most triers of fact to say I did not cause the ball to move..

Assuming you are guilty until proven innocent and the standard is a preponderance of the evidence, then I would would expected triers of fact to be split on whether I caused the ball to move or not.

Assuming you are guilty until proven innocent and the standard is beyond a reasonable doubt, then I would would expected most triers of fact to say I caused the ball to move.

Based on the ruling in favor of Rory a few weeks ago, I would expect it to be one of the first 3, but I suspect you may say it is suppose to be the latter.
If it was a downhill putt and there was a light wind blowing down hill and I very lightly brushed the grass about 6-8 inches away from the ball on my practice stroke on greens that were running about 9 or 10, what would your ruling be?
One thing I learned from Law School is that it is better (more clear cut and less costly in terms of litigation expense) when there is a bright line rule (assuming that it is fair to do so).
Wouldn`t it be much easier (and quite possibly fairer) to have a bright line rule along the line if you touch the ball or touch anything that is touching the ball and it moves you are penalized, otherwise, you are not penalized if you have not addressed the ball? In certain parts of the world, tiny earthquakes happen very frequently not to mention gusts of wind...when you take a practice swing at the same time as one of these events happens, it becomes a mess to try to figure out what "caused" the ball to move as it very well might have been multiple factors.
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Not sure where we're trying to go with this.  A player either caused the ball to move or he didn't.  You can cause a ball to move without touching it, doesn't happen often, but it does happen so there is a rule for it.  For the vast majority of times there are enough facts to determine what happened.  In the end I believe, with regards to Rule 18, any doubt is resolved in favor of the player.  Those that officiate can correct me on this.

Again, in your case, tough to rule on something like this without being there.  Do you think you caused it to move?  Did the ball move during your practice strokes? An official would take this into consideration.  As I said, I believe doubt is resolved in favor of the player.

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Originally Posted by MEfree

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dormie1360

It is a question of fact as to whether a player has caused the ball to move.  All available evidence must be wieghed.  Proximity of practice swings, wind, slope, speed of green, etc.

Sounds a lot like what I studied in Law School...So where is the burden of proof and what is the standard of proof?

Assuming you are innocent until proven guilty and the standard is beyond a reasonable doubt, then I would would expected almost all triers of fact to say I did not cause the ball to move.

Assuming you are innocent until proven guilty and the standard is a preponderance of the evidence, then I would would expected most triers of fact to say I did not cause the ball to move..

Assuming you are guilty until proven innocent and the standard is a preponderance of the evidence, then I would would expected triers of fact to be split on whether I caused the ball to move or not.

Assuming you are guilty until proven innocent and the standard is beyond a reasonable doubt, then I would would expected most triers of fact to say I caused the ball to move.

Based on the ruling in favor of Rory a few weeks ago, I would expect it to be one of the first 3, but I suspect you may say it is suppose to be the latter.

If it was a downhill putt and there was a light wind blowing down hill and I very lightly brushed the grass about 6-8 inches away from the ball on my practice stroke on greens that were running about 9 or 10, what would your ruling be?

One thing I learned from Law School is that it is better (more clear cut and less costly in terms of litigation expense) when there is a bright line rule (assuming that it is fair to do so).

Wouldn`t it be much easier (and quite possibly fairer) to have a bright line rule along the line if you touch the ball or touch anything that is touching the ball and it moves you are penalized, otherwise, you are not penalized if you have not addressed the ball?  In certain parts of the world, tiny earthquakes happen very frequently not to mention gusts of wind...when you take a practice swing at the same time as one of these events happens, it becomes a mess to try to figure out what "caused" the ball to move as it very well might have been multiple factors.

You are reading too much into it.  If you have taken an action that may have caused the ball to move, then you caused the ball to move.  Did you do something which could have affected the ball?  You should be able to tell that.  It's not rocket science.

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Taken from the answer to Decision 18-2b/11

There are many situations where the onus resides with the player. The Rules of Golf do not always match the rules of Law.

As it is known or virtually certain that the player did not cause the ball to move, Rule 18-2b does not apply - .....

The same principle applies if it is known or virtually certain that a ball in play has been moved by wind, water or some other element after the player has addressed it; there is no penalty and the ball must be played from its new location. Gravity is not in itself an element that should be considered when applying the Exception to Rule 18-2b ; therefore, unless it is known or virtually certain that some agency other than gravity (e.g., outside agency or wind) caused the ball to move after address, the player is subject to a one stroke penalty under Rule 18-2b and must replace the ball. (Revised)

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Originally Posted by Dormie1360

Not sure where we're trying to go with this.  A player either caused the ball to move or he didn't.  You can cause a ball to move without touching it, doesn't happen often, but it does happen so there is a rule for it.  For the vast majority of times there are enough facts to determine what happened.  In the end I believe, with regards to Rule 18, any doubt is resolved in favor of the player.  Those that officiate can correct me on this.

Again, in your case, tough to rule on something like this without being there.  Do you think you caused it to move?  Did the ball move during your practice strokes? An official would take this into consideration.  As I said, I believe doubt is resolved in favor of the player.

I am trying to figure out 3 things-

1.  If I should turn in a 78 or 79 for my round yesterday.

2.  How this should be correctly played going forward.

3.  Why the rules can`t be more clear cut.  i.e. if you touch it (directly or indirectly) and it moves, it is a stroke penalty.  If you don`t touch it and haven`t addressed it, no penalty if the ball moves.

Originally Posted by Fourputt

You are reading too much into it.  If you have taken an action that may have caused the ball to move, then you caused the ball to move.  Did you do something which could have affected the ball?  You should be able to tell that.  It's not rocket science.

So do you agree with Dormie that the doubt is resolved in favor of the player.  I think it is above a 0% chance but below a 50% chance that I caused the ball to move either by walking on the green or by taking my practice stroke.  So how would you rule?

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Originally Posted by MEfree

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dormie1360

Not sure where we're trying to go with this.  A player either caused the ball to move or he didn't.  You can cause a ball to move without touching it, doesn't happen often, but it does happen so there is a rule for it.  For the vast majority of times there are enough facts to determine what happened.  In the end I believe, with regards to Rule 18, any doubt is resolved in favor of the player.  Those that officiate can correct me on this.

Again, in your case, tough to rule on something like this without being there.  Do you think you caused it to move?  Did the ball move during your practice strokes? An official would take this into consideration.  As I said, I believe doubt is resolved in favor of the player.

I am trying to figure out 3 things-

1.  If I should turn in a 78 or 79 for my round yesterday.

2.  How this should be correctly played going forward.

3.  Why the rules can`t be more clear cut.  i.e. if you touch it (directly or indirectly) and it moves, it is a stroke penalty.  If you don`t touch it and haven`t addressed it, no penalty if the ball moves.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fourputt

You are reading too much into it.  If you have taken an action that may have caused the ball to move, then you caused the ball to move.  Did you do something which could have affected the ball?  You should be able to tell that.  It's not rocket science.

So do you agree with Dormie that the doubt is resolved in favor of the player.  I think it is above a 0% chance but below a 50% chance that I caused the ball to move either by walking on the green or by taking my practice stroke.  So how would you rule?

No, the decision must be made by the player after examining all of the facts, according to the rules.  If the player has approached the ball, and lacking any possible outside influence, the issue is normally going to be resolved against the player.  That is how the decision quoted by Rulesman reads.  If you are 50 yards away and the ball moves without any apparent reason, then you are not deemed to be the cause.  If you are 3 feet away and the ball moves without any apparent outside influence, then you had better examine everything you have done since getting in the vicinity of the ball.  If you see the ball in some sort of precarious lie, be very cautious when moving around near it and setting up for the shot.  It's only about 10 years back that Rule 23 was changed.  Before that if you moved a loose impediment, no matter where it was located, and your ball moved afterward, then you were deemed to have been the cause.  That phrase has been removed from the rule.  Now there must be reason to believe thatt he removal of the loose impediment was the cause.  However, even if the removal was not the cause, you may still be deemed to have caused it just by being in the vicinity... it's a difficult one to rule on unless you are on the spot when it happens.  That's why the onus of making the determination usually lies with the player.

Is the difference between 78 and 79 really that big a deal?

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Originally Posted by Rulesman

Taken from the answer to Decision 18-2b/11

There are many situations where the onus resides with the player. The Rules of Golf do not always match the rules of Law.

Originally Posted by Fourputt

No, the decision must be made by the player after examining all of the facts, according to the rules.  If the player has approached the ball, and lacking any possible outside influence, the issue is normally going to be resolved against the player.  .

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dormie1360 View Post

. Those that officiate can correct me on this.

Thanks guys.....I stand corrected.

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Is the difference between 78 and 79 really that big a deal?

Did you really write that, or was it your evil twin? Suddenly the whole world doesn't make sense! :~( ;-)

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

No, the decision must be made by the player after examining all of the facts, according to the rules.  If the player has approached the ball, and lacking any possible outside influence, the issue is normally going to be resolved against the player.  That is how the decision quoted by Rulesman reads.  If you are 50 yards away and the ball moves without any apparent reason, then you are not deemed to be the cause.  If you are 3 feet away and the ball moves without any apparent outside influence, then you had better examine everything you have done since getting in the vicinity of the ball.  If you see the ball in some sort of precarious lie, be very cautious when moving around near it and setting up for the shot.  It's only about 10 years back that Rule 23 was changed.  Before that if you moved a loose impediment, no matter where it was located, and your ball moved afterward, then you were deemed to have been the cause.  That phrase has been removed from the rule.  Now there must be reason to believe thatt he removal of the loose impediment was the cause.  However, even if the removal was not the cause, you may still be deemed to have caused it just by being in the vicinity... it's a difficult one to rule on unless you are on the spot when it happens.  That's why the onus of making the determination usually lies with the player.

Is the difference between 78 and 79 really that big a deal?

You seem to give rulings for extremely obvious cases, but not mine.

I wasn`t 50 yards from the ball (THAT WAS ON THE GREEN, NO LOOSE IMPEDIMENTS OR OBVIOUSLY PRECARIOUS LIES INVOLVED), but there were potential outside influences (light wind that was blowing downhill, the direction the ball moved).  So maybe it was my practice stroke, maybe gravity or maybe wind (or a combination).

This seems like a pretty straight forward situation and everyone is telling me that it is not rocket science, but so far none of our resident rules experts have said what the definitive ruling is (whether they were the official or ruling for themselves if they were the player).  AM I LOOKING AT A ONE OR TWO STROKE PENALTY?  (Remember, I replaced the ball back to the original spot and this is where I putted from and completed the hole)

Maybe I should just forget about the one or two stroke penalty and post a 77.  Would that be permitted in tournament play?

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