No.10 Ball Interfering with Play

Question 1:
A has a clear chip, or putt, to the hole from off the putting green but says that B's ball is mentally interfering with his play. Is he entitled to ask B to lift his ball?

Answer: Yes, under Rule 22-2 a player may have another ball lifted if the ball interferes either physically or mentally with his play.

Question 2:
If a player is asked to lift his ball at rest off the putting green, because it is interfering with another player's ball, may he clean it before replacing it?
Answer: No, Rule 21c states that a ball may not be cleaned when it has been lifted because it is assisting or interfering with play. The penalty for doing so is one stroke in both stroke play and match play.

Question 3:
A and B's balls lie close together off the putting green with a leaf between the two balls. It is agreed that B's ball is further away from the hole and is lying clear of the leaf, whereas A's ball is at rest on the stalk of the leaf. B asks A to lift his ball, which is interfering with his play. What is the ruling with regard to the leaf, a loose impediment?

Answer: When A lifts his ball he must also lift the leaf so that after B has played his stroke he can replace the ball on the leaf, re-creating the situation that his ball was in before it was lifted.

If a loose impediment affecting a player's lie is moved when the player lifts his ball under a Rule that requires him to replace the ball the player must also replace the loose impediment. If the ball lies through the green and the player fails to do so, in equity (Rule 1-4), he incurs a penalty of one stroke in both match play and stroke play (Decision 23-1/7).

Another 'Rhodes Rules School' Q&A will follow next week,


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