Part II: What’s the Ruling?

Mark Oswald
General Manager
The Highlands at Dove Mountain in Marana, AZ.
Marana, AZ

More Information

(Continued from August Issue)

You begin your round of golf with 15 clubs and you do not notice until you are on the 6th hole that you have too many clubs. What is the ruling?

Rule 4-4: Maximum of 14 Clubs.

Stroke play – Two strokes for each hole at which any breach occurred; maximum penalty per round – Four strokes (two strokes at each of the first two holes at which any breach occurred).

Match play – At the conclusion of the hole at which the breach is discovered, the state of the match is adjusted by     deducting one hole for each hole at which a breach occurred; maximum deduction per round – Two holes.

You hit your tee shot into the desert, take out another ball and tell your playing partners you are hitting your third shot. You hit this shot into the fairway. You find your first ball and it is playable from the desert. Can you play this shot? What is the ruling?

Rule 27-2. Provisional Ball

a. Procedure

If a ball may be lost outside a water hazard or may be out of bounds, to save time the player may play another ball provisionally in accordance with Rule 27-1. The player must inform his opponent in match play or his marker or a fellow-competitor in stroke play that he intends to play a provisional ball, and he must play it before he or his partner goes forward to search for the original ball.

If he fails to do so and plays another ball, that ball is not a provisional ball and becomes the ball in play under penalty of stroke and distance (Rule 27-1); the original ball is lost.

Your ball is in the hazard. While approaching your ball you pick up some loose limbs. Is this a penalty? What is the ruling?

Rule 13-4. Ball in Hazard; Prohibited Actions

Except as provided in the Rules, before making a stroke at a ball that is in a hazard (whether a bunker or a water hazard) or that, having been lifted from a hazard, may be dropped or placed in the hazard, the player must not:

a. Test the condition of the hazard or any similar hazard;

b. Touch the ground in the hazard or water in the water hazard with his hand or a club; or

c. Touch or move a loose impediment lying in or touching the hazard.

For more information on Driver Fitting or assistance with your golf game, contact Mark Oswald at or visit