Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Golf Rules 101 - Rule 5-3 Ball unfit for play.

I am hoping to post a new golf rule from time to time to help us all learn a little bit more about the game we play, and possibly even save us from a few penalty strokes on our next round! Golf is certainly a game of rules and even a small mistake can cost you if you don't know where you stand!

5-3. Ball Unfit for Play
A golf ball is unfit for play if it is visibly cut, cracked or out of shape. A ball is not unfit for play solely because mud or other materials adhere to it, its surface is scratched or scraped or its paint is damaged or discoloured. If a player has reason to believe his ball has become unfit for play during play of the hole being played, he may lift the ball without penalty to determine whether it is unfit.Before lifting the ball, the player must announce his intention to his opponent in match play or his competitor. He may then lift and examine it provided that he gives his opponent, marker or fellow-competitor an opportunity to examine the ball and observe the lifting and replacement. The ball must not be cleaned when lifted under Rule 5-3. If the player fails to comply with all or any part of this procedure, he incurs a penalty of one stroke.
If it is determined that the ball has become unfit for play during play of the hole being played, the player may another ball, placing it on the spot where the original ball lay. Otherwise, the original ball must be replaced. If a player substitutes a ball when not permitted and he makes a stoke at
the substituted ball, he incurs the general penalty for a breach of Rule 5-3. There is no additional penalty under this Rule or Rule 15-1. If a ball breaks into pieces as a result of a stoke, the stroke is cancelled and the player must play a ball without penalty as nearly as possible at the spot
from which the original ball was played (see Rule 20-5).

Match play - Loss of hole
Stroke play - Two strokes.

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