Captain: Fiona Johnston Vice Captain: Margaret Kerr
Thursday, 21 June 2018
UNDERSTANDING THE RULES OF GOLF 3
Phil Mickelson has certainly been the subject of a lot of discussion since his questionable actions at the US Open at Shinnecock Hills on Sunday. He blatantly broke rule 14-5 by striking his putt more than once in order to prevent it from rolling down off the green. Rule 14-5 states a player must not make astrokeat his/her ball while it is moving. However, there is another rule which could have been used which was Rule 1-2 where a player must not (i) take an action with the intent to influence the movement of aball in play or (ii) alter physical conditions with the intent of affecting the playing of a hole. I would say Phil certainly influenced the movement of his ball. The penalty for this misdemeanour is 2 strokes or if a player has gained a significant advantage then it is disqualification.
The key principle in golf is that you play the ball as it lies and you don’t do anything to improve your surroundings. For example, if your ball lands at the bottom of a bush or tree you must step in and fairly take your stance without bending, breaking the flora and fauna around you. Rule 13-2 states: A player must not improve or allow to be improved:
·creating or eliminating irregularities of surface,
·removing or pressing down sand, loose soil, replaced divots or other cut turf placed in position, or
·removing dew, frost or water.
It is also important to remember that if in the course of taking a practice swing you happen to knock down branches and leaves with your backswing you could be altering your area of your intended swing and you would be in breach of Rule 13-2 resulting in a penalty oftwo strokes in strokeplay and loss of hole in matchplay.