Another 'Rhodes Rules School'
No.97 Definitions
There are over fifty defined terms that form the foundations around which the Rules of Golf are written. They can be found at the front of the Rules book and are good place to start for a better understanding of the correct application of the Rules.

Question 1:
Within the Rules of Golf ...
a) ... are cracks in parched ground 'abnormal ground conditions' (as in photo a) above)?
b) ... are a burrowing animal's footprints in a bunker an abnormal ground condition?
c) ... is a playing partner the same as a fellow competitor?
d) ... is wind an outside agency?
e) ... is a player's backswing part of their stroke (as in photo e) above)?

Answer 1:
a) No. The ball in the photo must be played as it lies. Decision 25/12.
b) No, they are irregularities of surface. Decision 25/19.5.
c) No. A partner is a player associated with another player on the same side; a fellow competitor is any person with whom a competitor plays who is not on the same side.
d) No. Neither wind nor water is an outside agency. Definition of Outside Agency.
e) No. A stoke is the forward movement of the club made with the intention of striking at and moving the ball. Definition of Stroke.

Question 2:
In which of these circumstances has a player addressed their ball through the green?
a) When they have taken their stance.
b) When they have taken their stance and grounded their club behind their ball.
c) When they have grounded their club immediately in front of or immediately behind the ball.

Answer 2:
c) When they have grounded their club immediately in front of or immediately behind the ball.

Definition of Addressing the Ball:
A player has "addressed the ball" when he has grounded his club immediately in front of or immediately behind the ball, whether or not he has taken his stance.
Note: This new Definition of Addressing the Ball became effective on 1st January 2012.

Question 3:
Under the Rules which of the following are player's equipment?
a) Their woolly hat.
b) Their tee used in measuring a permitted area for dropping.
c) Their ball-marker.
d) Their smart phone
e) Their towel.
f) Their provisional ball in play.

Answer 3:

a), d) and e) are player's equipment; b), c) and f) are not.

Part of the Definition of Equipment states:

"Equipment" is anything used, worn or carried by the player or anything carried for the player by his partner or either of their caddies, except any ball he has played at the hole being played and any small object, such as a coin or a tee, when used to mark the position of a ball or the extent of an area in which a ball is to be dropped.
Note 1: A ball played at the hole being played is equipment when it has been lifted and not put back into play.

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