Golf: be sure to play from the correct tee marker

2012-05-04 00:00

MANY golf courses these days have different tee markers from which to play. Generally, they are called championship markers and club markers. Some of the big famous courses like Sun City and Leopard Creek have multiple tees.

With different tees on a course, a golfer should always be alert to play from the correct tee markers, especially the player who has the honour.

A few weeks ago, four golfers were playing in a betterball competition when the golfer with the honour, let’s call him Sam, hit his tee-shot from the wrong markers. It was noticed by his partner and the second golfer to tee off. Sam couldn’t remember ever doing that before and thought that there was no penalty in a strokeplay competition.

The other three players thought differently.

All four golfers had a different opinion on the transgression.

• Sam must continue with the ball he has played and add two penalty strokes.

• Sam must play from the correct teeing ground and be penalised two penalty strokes.

• Sam must play another ball from the correct tee markers and that will count as his second shot.

• Sam must continue with the original ball and no penalty is incurred.

With this confusion, Sam wisely hit another ball from the correct tee markers and completed the hole with both balls, which he is entitled to do.

They consulted the rule book and found Rule 11-4(b) on page 61. “He incurs a penalty of two strokes and then must play a ball from within the teeing ground.”

Perhaps the golfers were confused because in match play the rule is very different. Rule 11-4(a) states: “If a player, when starting a hole, plays a ball from outside the teeing ground, there is no penalty, but the opponent may immediately require the player to cancel the stroke and play a ball from within the teeing ground.”

It should be remembered that it is not only different tee markers to which this rule is applicable, but also to playing in front of the correct markers.

From the 19th hole

You know you are a golf fanatic when:

• even your garden gloves have a ball marker on the wrist;

• you mow your back yard to 11 on the Stimpmeter;

• you don’t know who the vice president is, but you’ve got Ernie Els’s sand save percentage memorised;

• golf tees are in all your pockets, even your pyjamas;

• getting married at 10 am — you can still get in a quick nine holes at 8 am;

• you have all the machinery foldouts from Turfgrass Monthly pinned to your wall;

• you name your kids Ernie and Retief, and they are both daughters;

• you have a titanium rod surgically inserted permanently so you can’t bend your left arm.

• after two days without golf, you get the shakes and have to phone 0800 LIFELINE so they can talk you down; and

• when you stand at the urinal, you use the overlapping grip.

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