Rules to Play By Max Number of Stokes - COPIED

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 5, 2007, 5:00 pm
Editor's note: Ray Herzog, a rules expert from the San Diego Golf Academy in Orlando, Fla., will be presiding over cases presented by you the reader. Please submit your on-course dispute and let Rules Judge Ray settle it.
Case presented by Ira P.:
After my ball was on the green, I hit a downhill putt that ran off the front of the green. My opponent said because my ball was originally on the green, I was not allowed to replace the flagstick for my next shot which was from off the green. I was not aware that the rules made this distinction for balls being played from off the green. Is this correct? Please advise.
I have to agree with you on this one, I am also unaware of any rule that makes a distinction for shots played from off the green. The only breach for a flagstick being in the hole would be under rule 17-3c. It states, the players ball must not strike the flagstick in the hole, unattended, when the stroke has been made on the putting green. The key words being, 'on the putting green.' As soon as your ball went off the green, there is nothing in the rules that says you cannot put the flagstick back in the hole.
If you really want to mess with your opponents head, tell him that before you make a stroke from anywhere on the course, you may have the flagstick attended for you. That will really throw him for a loop.
-- Ray
Bonus question from William Port
Is there a maximum number of penalty strokes that can be assessed on a shot or a hole? ... Although this exact example has not happened all in one shot/hole, all these things have happened at one time or another. What if they did happen all on one hole?
For example, on the first tee you hit your tee shot into the tree line. You think you see your ball under a bush. You can get to a position to hit the ball if you get on your knees. However, it has been raining and the ground is wet so you put down a towel to kneel on. Right there, you have improved your stance and there is a penalty. You press on. You take a mighty swing at the ball and shank it farther into the tree line and past the white out of bounds stake. Now we have an out of bounds shot and another penalty. You go to pick up your ball to go back to the bush and as you look at your ball you see that it is not, indeed, your ball. Oops, another penalty for hitting a wrong ball. On the way back to the bush you notice another ball under another near by bush and are able to identify it as your ball. Rather than try another tricky under the bush shot, you decide to declare it unplayable and take a drop. Another penalty stroke for that decision. You then take your drop but you take it from the wrong place. Yet another penalty. As you are now ready to hit your shot from the wrong spot you decide you need a different club. As you select your club, you notice that you have 15 clubs in the bag. Yet another penalty. This could go on and on with non-conforming balls and clubs and hitting out of turn and displacing branches or leaves on the practice swing. The question is, do you take all these penalty strokes or is there a point in time where the rules say enough is enough and assess say 4 penalty strokes and we move on?

I have played in a few rounds where I have wished there was a maximum number of penalty strokes, but there isnt. There is no maximum to the penalty strokes. You have to play a ball with a club from the teeing ground into the hole by a stroke or successive strokes in accordance with the rules. So once you tee off, you have to apply all penalties until you hole your golf ball out.
But just for fun lets take your example and apply the penalties for you. Assuming this is the first hole and you are playing stroke play lets see what your score would be when you realized you had 15 clubs.
Your tee shot was the only stroke you made at the ball. When you knelt on the towel and built a stance it was a 2-stroke penalty. You hit a wrong ball out of bounds. This is a 2-stroke penalty but the stroke does not count and it is not an out of bounds penalty because it was the wrong ball. When you take a drop for the unplayable that is a 1-stroke penalty. You go back to the bag and get another club and realize you have too many clubs. Since you are on the first hole, it is only a 2-stroke penalty. The fact that you dropped the ball in the wrong place, it would only be a penalty if you played from the wrong spot. Since you have not played the ball yet, we will hold off on that penalty. Rule 20-6 lets you re-drop that golf ball in the correct spot if you realize you error. So at this point in your story you have made one stroke at the ball and are lying 8 with another two-stroke penalty about to be applied.
William, I will give you my secret to keeping your scores down. As a PGA Professional, I have the opportunity to play a lot of golf with my students and members. The best way to reduce monster numbers on the golf course because of penalty strokes is to play match play. In your example, as soon as you kneeled on that towel, you lost the first hole. You are 1 down going to the second hole rather than taking a double-digit number. Good Luck in your future matches.
-- Ray
Email your on-course rules dispute to Rules Judge 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