Rules to Play By Bending the Rules

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 4, 2007, 4:00 pm
Editor's note: Each week, Ray Herzog, a rules expert from the San Diego Golf Academy in Orlando, Fla., will be answering reader-submitted questions involving the Rules of Golf. Look for Ray's Q&A every Thursday on
Player A and Player B are playing match play. On the 12th hole, Player A putts to about 3 feet away and as he is walking to the ball he hears from behind him its good and he picks up the ball and walks away. Player B reacts by saying I didnt say that, my caddie said it and he meant it was a good putt.
What is the rule? Was the putt conceded by Player B even though it was his caddy that said it? Does Player A have to replace the ball as near as possible for a next putt? Once a putt is considered conceded doesnt it stay conceded? Is Players Bs caddie part of his team and can a players caddie concede putts? Need answers!
Thank you
Richard Blash

By my count, you have five questions packed into that second paragraph. I will attempt to answer all of them. The rule that will answer all of your questions is rule 2-4, Concession of Next Stroke, Hole or Match. The player not his caddie, has to concede the putt. Since the comments made by Bs caddie could have led A to think his next stroke had been conceded, in equity A should replace his ball as near as possible to where it lay, without penalty. A concession may not be declined or withdrawn, but in this case there never was a concession.
If I remember right, almost the exact same thing happened in the last Ryder Cup to Davis Love. He made the comment, good putt. His opponent thought he said, thats good, and picked up his ball. Since it was mistaken concession, they just replaced the ball back to its original position.

I was told that on Tour, there are some rules that are a little 'bended' due to an unwritten player respect on Tour. Here is the scenario...
The player hits his ball at what he thinks is out of bounds but himself and his playing partners are unsure. Therefore, he hits a provisional. The provisional is a great shot next to the pin. So, he tells his playing partners to not look for the first ball (although it could still be in bounds, but more than likely unplayable). Out of respect, they dont look for the ball and the player taps in his putt.
The question is, does he have to look for the first ball?

I think the TOUR players dont bend the rules, I think they use them to their advantage. The players on TOUR have so much experience they know more about the rules. Things your weekend golfer would consider bending the rules.
The answer to your question is; the player does not have to look for his first ball. The rule book states; Once he plays a shot with his provisional ball from the place where the original ball is likely to be or from a point nearer the hole than that place, the original ball is deemed lost. So as soon as he putts the ball on the putting green, his first ball is considered lost.
The interesting thing about your question, if your fellow competitor wants to go look for your ball they are permitted. They would be allowed five minutes to search for the first ball. If they find it, you must go over and identify the ball. But if you went up to the green and played your provisional ball before they found it, your first ball is lost. So basically, the race is on, can you putt your provisional ball before they can find your lost ball. Good Luck, I hope you win the race.

Hi Ray,
My friend recently played in a tournament with a guy who had 2 old clubs taped together that he used to warm up with. Problem is, he carried them in his bag in addition to the fourteen clubs he played with.
Isn't he in violation of the 14 club rule ??
Thanks, Kevin

Once again, another question I have never heard before. You are correct; he would be in violation of the 14-club rule. There are some common misconceptions about the 14-club rule. I found two decisions in the Decisions on The Rules of Golf that could clear them up.
4-4a/7 ' Deals with carrying a weighted training club. It is a violation to carry a weighted training club, but the club may be selected as one of the 14 clubs selected by the player. In your example, the player would have to take out two clubs to compensate for his double club warm up device.
4-4c/1 ' Deals with declaring a club out of play before the start of a round. If a player has 15 clubs in his bag before the round, he must get rid of the club before the round begins. Declaring a club out of play only applies after a breach has occurred. So the next time a player wants to flip the club over in his bag or put the extra club on the floor of the cart, inform them that they are still subject to penalty. They must not start the round with 15 clubs.

Dear Ray,
I hit my approach shots very, very high. When greens are soft, I often find my ball embedded up to its equator in its own pitchmark on the green. After I mark and lift the ball, I do my best to repair the pitchmark. However, such pitchmarks are nearly impossible to repair to a condition of smooth and even with the surrounding surface. There is usually still a bit of a hole or depression after the repairwork is finished. Must I place my ball back down on this depression/hole before playing my next stroke, or am I
entitled to relief?

Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do in this situation. The ball must be placed on the spot from which it was lifted. You just have to spend a little more time repairing the ball mark. One situation where you can move the ball is addressed in rule 20-3d, Ball Fails to Come to Rest on Spot. If you replace your ball and it fails to come to rest, there is no penalty and the ball must be replaced. If it still fails to come to rest on the spot, it must be placed at the nearest spot where it can be placed at rest that is not nearer the hole. On the putting green, if the ball wont come to rest on the spot, move it over an inch and place it there. Sorry, that is all I could find to help you out. I guess you just have to buy a real nice repair tool.
Thank you for your questions,
Ray Herzog
Email your Rules of Golf questions to Ray
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After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard

On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

Best of the rest: A two-time winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry