Just about everything in golf has a rule governing what is appropriate behaviour, legal equipment, and what order do players proceed during a golf hole. It would surprise many of you that Rule 10 – Order of Play, was not designed to help the pace of play, but to ensure no player gains an advantage over the other by playing out of turn.
Yesterday I was contacted by a friend of my late mother. Irene was talking to my sister Roxana and my sister mention my golf blog. Irene is an avid golfer and asked a question relating to order of play. It was a brilliant question because many players actually apply Rule 10 incorrectly. Her is Irene’s question:
“In regard to golfing I have a question for you. If I am three feet off the green and fifteen feet from the pin and my friend is forty feet away on the green do I have to chip on before she putts?”
The short answer to Irene’s question is NO. According to Rule 10-2c, the person on the green is farthest from the hole, therefore they are away. It makes no difference as to where the balls are located (whether on or off the green), the rule is very clear.
However, during stroke play Rule 10-2c does allow for players to play out of turn as long as they are not doing it to gain an advantage. If this is the case, both players are disqualified.
Understanding the spirit of Rule 10, during friendly matches (and tournaments) it is not uncommon for the person farthest from the pin who is on the green to offer to a closer player who is off the green to play up. However, the closer player is under no obligation to play first. Generally, the offer is made with the intent to speed up play. I play by this guideline during friendly matches, but I am more restrictive during tournaments.
Bottom line, under Rule 10-2b, the person farthest from the pin is obligated to play first. There are no qualifying ‘what ifs’ that changes this rule.
Thank you Irene for the great question. I hope this helps.
Has anyone experienced the same situation as Irene?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!