Remember a few weeks ago when Amy Olson’s ball hit Ariya Jutanugarn ball on the green and stopped near the hole. Social media went crazy and claimed that Olson had breached rule 15.3a that “clearly states that for a breach to occur, that two or more players must agree to leave a ball in place to help any player on her next stroke.” (USA Today) Neither was penalized, but the brew-ha-ha boarded on the edge of insanity if you asked me. So what about this shot?
Of course the player is about 50 yards away making a chip in normal play. But, the ball she hit was about the same distance from the pin as Jutanugarn’s during the controversy. It would be lunacy to thing that any rules official would consider this backstopping; it was just the rub of the green.
For Rule 15.3a to even be considered, in my mind, two things must happen. First, the players, before the time of stroke, have to make some kind of backroom deal where they will do what they can to help each other out. I have never come across a situation like this in the year’s have played and doubt I ever will.
Second is distance from the green. I feel I am a fairly strong player, but never has it occurred to me to use another players ball as a backstop to prevent my ball from going farther past the hole. I figure that if I am 10 yards or farther from the green, the chances of me hitting someone’s golf ball is slim at best. I can count on one hand the number of times this has happened over my career.
I understand that using someone’s ball as a backstop is possible, but in the big scheme of things is not a strategy for success.
What do you think of rule 15.3a? Do you think backstopping is a real issue?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!