No.99 Practice Swings
 

 
Question 1:
What is the penalty and procedure if a player moves their ball during a practice swing on the ...
a) ... teeing ground?
b) ... fairway?
c) ... putting green (as in the photo above)?


Answer 1:

a) No penalty as the ball is not in play. The player may tee another ball at the same spot, or at a different place within the teeing ground. Rule 11-3.
b) One stroke penalty and the ball must be replaced. Rule 18-2a.
c) One stroke penalty and the ball must be replaced. Rule 18-2a.

Question 2:

a) Are players permitted to practice on the course before their round on the day of a stroke play competition?
b) Are players permitted to practice on the course on the day of their match play competition?


Answer 2:
a) No. Rule 7-1b.
b) Yes. Rule 7-1a.
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Question 3:
While making a practice swing close to where his ball is at rest a player accidentally knocks down one or two leaves from an overhead branch of a tree that has many leaves. Does he incur a penalty?

Answer 3:

No penalty is incurred. It is obvious that the player has not improved his area of intended swing to the extent that he might gain a potential advantage. Decision 13-2/0.5 (New).

Note: Decision 13-2/0.5 includes these words;

Examples of changes that are unlikely to create such a potential advantage are if a player ...
...  accidentally knocks down several leaves from a tree in his area of intended swing with a practice swing, but there are still so many leaves or branches remaining that the area of intended swing has not been materially affected.

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This is the last in the 'Rhodes Rules School' photo series of 99 issues. However, I am continuing with a brand new format, which I am calling, 'Rhodes Rules School - How Many Strokes?' My aim is the same, to assist golfers of all abilities to obtain a better understanding of the Rules of Golf. I sincerely hope that you stay with me. You don't have to do anything.