Take extra caution when your ball is in a hazard

2010-04-28 00:00

A GOLFER recently played in his club’s Monthly Mug and on one of the holes he hit his ball into a bunker. As he stepped into the bunker, he accidentally kicked a pine cone. The cone rolled into the bunker.

He thought to himself that he was lucky that the ball wasn’t moved by the pine cone. He picked up the cone and threw it away. He called to his playing partners to advise them and his marker in particular, that the cone wasn’t near his ball and it didn’t interfere with his swing or his stance.

He told them the cone wasn’t in the bunker when the ball landed there and it wasn’t interfering with the bunker shot in any way, therefore he could ­remove it because it’s a loose impediment. They all agreed that this was permissible.

Did the player incur a penalty?

Well, a pine cone is a loose impediment and may not be removed when both the impediment and the ball lie in a hazard (Rule 13-4/c). By removing the pine cone from the bunker, the player incurred a two-stroke penalty. In matchplay it is loss of hole.

The threesome completed their round and the scorecards were submitted. Much later in the clubhouse they were chatting over a bottle or two of the amber liquid and the pine-cone incident was recalled.

A rule book was consulted, which resulted in the player being disqualified. He was lucky because he wasn’t in the winning enclosure. That would have been a costly mistake.

The lesson here is obvious; be extra careful when your ball is in a hazard and just because your playing companions agree with your reasoning regarding a particular rule, it doesn’t mean that you are right.

You can always play another ball and in this instance it wasn’t necessary to remove the cone at all. He should have played his shot and then removed the pine cone.

LAST WEEK’S RESULTS

Maritzburg Golf Club held its matchplay championships on Saturday and Sunday. The top 16 in each division from last week’s Strokeplay played off in a knock-out format.

The A division winner and Club matchplay champion was Morgan Phillips who beat Andy Britnell 4 and 2. The B division was won by Sonny Naidoo who beat Neil Parsonage 3 and 2. Grumpy Furmage won the C division in beating Rob Morley 5 and 4. The Senior division was won by Neil Duchan who beat Manny Ferreira 6 and 5.

Victoria Country Club held a four-ball betterball Stableford competition on Saturday. The winners were Jonathan and Jen Hallowes on 47 points. In second place were Stuart Smith and Keith Ferguson on 46 points.

From the 19th hole:

Three mischievous old grannies were sitting on a bench outside a nursing home when an old grandpa walked by.

One of the old grandmas yelled out saying, “We bet we can tell exactly how old you are.” The old man said, “There is no way you can guess that, you old fools.” One of the old grandmas said, “Sure we can. Just drop your trousers and underpants and we can tell your exact age.” Embarrassed just a little, but anxious to prove they couldn’t do it, he dropped his drawers.

The grandmas asked him to first turn around a couple of times and to jump up and down several times. Then they all piped up and said, “You’re 80 years old.” Standing with his pants down around his ankles, the old gent asked, “How the hell can you tell?” Slapping their knees and grinning from ear to ear, the three old ladies happily yelled in unison ... “We were at your birthday party at the golf club last week!”

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