Par 3 OB – A Golf Rule Interpretation

I have a rules question that I am hoping you can solve. I call it Par 3 OB. It is pretty simple in concept, but the 4 people I asked, including my club pro, I received the “ooohhh, I am not sure”. My club pro even suggested that if he was a playing partner, I might get slapped. He was joking of course…..I think 😉 . Regardless, this is something I need clarification on because it happened last week and I am unsure what to do.

Here is my dilemma. I pulled my second shot on the 2nd hole at Osprey Links out of bounds. It was about pin high and under the new rules, I should be able to pull my ball over as close to the pin, on the green, as possible and then drop. This would make for an easy putt for bogey instead of hitting the ball from any other position.

With the strange responses I received from my local sources, I decided to go to Golf Canada for a ruling. It seems that their confusion also turned out to be my confusion. Interestingly, Golf Canada has an awesome service where I can ask a rules question via email and they provide the official ruling. In my case, I contacted them at 4 pm and they responded at 7 pm. I thought that was very responsive.

Here is the question I asked:

Good Day Rules Guru

I have a golf blog called The Grateful Golfer ( thegratefulgolfer.com ) and I am trying to clarify rule 18 regarding a lost ball.

Under the new rules or pace of play guidelines, If a player hits the ball out of bounds, one option is to move the ball from where the ball lies (if found) or where it crossed the OB makers (if not found) to the middle of the fairway and hit 4 from there. This helps prevent having to play a provisional ball and speeding up play. Keeping this in mind:

On my home course of Osprey Links Golf Course, the number 2 hole runs along the out of bounds. Can I move the ball onto the green inline with the pin and putt 4 from there? See picture attached.

Am I miss interpreting the pace of play guidelines or rules. I cannot seem to find the answer in the rule book, so I am asking you for clarification.

Thank you for your help in advance.

They responded with:

First, the 2019 Rules have not changed with respect to a lost ball or ball out of bounds.  However, the 2019 Rules do permit the Committee in charge of the course or competition to implement a new Model Local Rule as an alternative to stroke and distance, if they so desire.  It is not a Rule, or available to use, unless the Committee in charge have implemented it. It is Model Local Rule E-5 and can be viewed in the link below.  Scroll down to E-5, Alternative to Stroke and Distance, https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules/rules-2019/rules-of-golf/rules-and-interpretations.html#!ruletype=cp&section=rule&rulenum=8&subrulenum=5

As it turns out, I do not know the rules as well as I expected. The rule that I thought was a rule is actually a guideline and has to be approved by the rules committee at Osprey Links Golf Course. As of yet, it has not been adopted.

On a side note, I read the link above and let me tell you that I was way off base and I recommend that you read the actual rule and look at the infographics. It was very enlightening and worth the 5 minutes.

Because of my rules failing, I have decided to retake the Level 1 Rules course with Golf Canada over the winter. I am already a Level 1 Qualified on the old rules, but it is time to fix my knowledge shortcomings. Besides, it will help pass my 6 month off-season.

Understanding the rules is very important. Having a rules service available from Golf Canada at the touch of the button is awesome. I have been a member of Golf Canada for years and finally used this service. If you are not a member, I recommend that you join next year. Talk to your local course, savings might be available.

Does your local rules committee offer the speed of play option outlined above?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

6 thoughts on “Par 3 OB – A Golf Rule Interpretation

  1. Several of your assumptions were incorrect…1) the reference point for a ball out of bounds is where it crossed the boundary, not where ball was found. 2) ball must be dropped in the general area (not on the green) for 2 penalty strokes.

    Liked by 1 person

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