The stroke-and-distance rule

2013-05-24 00:00

SAM played in the Monthly Mug competition with Harry and Fred. Sam hit his second shot into fairly long grass.

All three players searched for the ball. After only a couple of minutes, Sam decided to go back to hit another ball under the stroke-and-distance rule (Rule 27/1). Harry and Fred continued to look for his ball. Sam arrived at the place where he hit his last shot and dropped another ball. Before he could hit it, his original ball was found. So Sam picked up the dropped ball and went to play his original ball from the long grass.

Harry thought that Sam had abandoned his ball by going back to the original place, even though the allowed five minutes hadn’t lapsed. Fred said that he thought that Sam had put another ball in play by dropping it and he shouldn’t have picked it up when the original ball was found. Sam thought what he did was okay and within the rules, after all, five minutes hadn’t lapsed and he didn’t hit the second ball.

Dear reader, what do you think? Is everything in order with what Sam did?

Firstly, Harry was wrong. Sam didn’t abandon his ball by going back to where the original ball was played, or as Harry put it, “You turned your back on the ball.”

Sam thought he had done everything correctly — this had happened to him before — but he was also wrong. Fred was right. When Sam dropped another ball, it became the ball in play even though he hadn’t hit it. If the ball had been found a few seconds earlier and before Sam dropped the second ball, he could have played the original ball without a rule infringement.

That wasn’t the end of Sam’s problems. He played the original ball, managed to hack it out of the rough and made a bogey. He finished the round, signed his card and put it in the competition box. Unfortunately, this simple mistake and ignorance of the rules cost him because he was disqualified. He won’t make that mistake again. Always remember to play two balls if you are not sure of the rule.

From the 19th hole:

I recently spent an absolute fortune on a young registered Black Angus bull. I put him out with the herd but he just ate grass and wouldn’t even look at a cow. I was beginning to think I had paid more for the bull than he was worth.

I asked the vet to come and have a look at him. He said the bull was very healthy, but possibly a little young, so he gave me some pills to feed him once per day.

The bull started to service the cows within two days, all my cows! He even broke through the fence and serviced most of my neighbour’s cows! I don’t know what was in the pills the vet gave him, but they taste just like peppermint.

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