Rules to Play By Where Do I Drop

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 11, 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
A par 3 where I play has a forced carry over water. If the ball hits land on the opposite side of the water hazard, but rolls back into the water, where should the next shot be played from? Weve had many disagreements over this. I say you have not carried the water hazard and must drop behind it.
Thank you, Steve


From the way you are describing the par 3, it sounds like it is marked with yellow paint or stakes. If that is the case, it is a water hazard. You have three relief options when you hit your ball into a water hazard, they can be found in Rule #26. (Water Hazards)
1. Play it as it lies (no penalty)
2. Stroke and Distance (1 stroke penalty)
3. Drop a ball behind hazard keeping in line the flagstick and point where the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard (1 stroke penalty)
You are correct when you said the ball did not carry the water hazard. The point you are looking for is where the ball last crossed the hazard line. If your shot carried the hazard line and rolled back in, use that point for option 3 above. If your shot did not carry the hazard line on the green side, you will have to use the last point where it crossed on your side of the water. Either way, you have to drop the ball behind the hazard in line with the flagstick and where he ball last crossed. Unless you want to hit the ball from in the water, you will have to hit another ball over the water.
-- Ray

While addressing my ball before my second shot on the fairway, my club touches -- but doesn't move -- my ball. Does this count as a stroke? What if the ball moves only slightly, but returns to it's original position, after moving the club back...does this count as a stroke?
Shawn Campbell
Folsom, Calif.

The answer to your question can be found in the front of the rule book in the Definitions section. A ball is deemed to have moved if it leaves its position and comes to rest in any other position. As far as the rule book sees it, there would be no penalties for the two examples listed in your question. In both your examples, the ball never came to rest in any other position.
Just remember, if you ever move your golf ball, you must put it back to its original position and take a one-stroke penalty. Be careful when addressing the golf ball; try not to get so close where you might be penalized.
-- Ray

Recently, I drove my ball into the fairway and then turned over the tee to my playing partner for his tee shot. He also drove his ball into the fairway and low and behold it ended its roll directly behind and touching may ball which is now closer to the hole than his. How to we play this? Do we pick up my ball and leave a mark in front of his ball for him to shoot over, then drop my ball at the marked spot. Or do we place the ball on the marked area and then play my shot. Thanks for your help.
Al Packwood
Bradenton, Florida

You would think with how much room there is on a golf course, you wouldnt have to worry about hitting two little golf balls right next to each other. This happens more than you think. The correct procedure is to mark one of the golf balls and lift it. Be careful not to clean the golf ball when you lift it, it would be a one-stroke penalty. After the player has played his approach shot, you replace the ball to its original position. Place it, dont drop it.
If the original lie has been altered with a divot, the ball must be placed in the nearest lie most similar to the original lie. This point cannot be more that one-club length away or closer to the hole than the original lie.

My son hit me with this one the other day. He said that a PGA TOUR player can only have one dozen golf balls in his bag during tournament play. I said he was smoking bio-degradable tees. Is there any thing in the rules about the number of golf balls you can start a tournament with?
Jerry H Mika

Fourteen golf clubs is the only limitation on equipment that I know of. A few years ago I was lucky enough to caddie for a player on The Champions Tour. I can tell you from personal experience that he carried more that 12 golf balls. He would sign that many during a round and give them to the kids who were watching. So tell you son that he got some bad info, and that smoking tees will stunt his growth.
Thank you for your questions,
Ray Herzog
Email your Rules of Golf questions to Ray
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Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

“It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

“What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

“When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.

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Farmers inks 7-year extension through 2026

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:04 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance has signed a seven-year extension to serve as the title sponsor for the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines, it was announced Tuesday. The deal will run through 2026.

“Farmers Insurance has been incredibly supportive of the tournament and the Century Club’s charitable initiatives since first committing to become the title sponsor in 2010,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos

“We are extremely grateful for the strong support of Farmers and its active role as title sponsor, and we are excited by the commitment Farmers has made to continue sponsorship of the Farmers Insurance Open for an additional seven years.

In partnership with Farmers, the Century Club – the tournament’s host organization – has contributed more than $20 million to deserving organizations benefiting at-risk youth since 2010. 

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Woods impresses DeChambeau, Day on Tuesday

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 11:27 pm

SAN DIEGO – Bryson DeChambeau played with Tiger Woods for the first time Tuesday morning, and the biggest surprise was that he wasn’t overcome by nerves.

“That’s what I was concerned about,” DeChambeau said. “Am I just gonna be slapping it around off the tee? But I was able to play pretty well.”

So was Woods.

DeChambeau said that Woods looked “fantastic” as he prepares to make his first PGA Tour start in a year.

“His game looks solid. His body doesn’t hurt. He’s just like, yeah, I’m playing golf again,” DeChambeau said. “And he’s having fun, too, which is a good thing.”

Woods arrived at Torrey Pines before 7 a.m. local time Tuesday, when the temperature hadn’t yet crept above 50 degrees. He warmed up and played the back nine of Torrey Pines’ South Course with DeChambeau and Jason Day.

“He looks impressive; it was good to see,” Day told afterward. “You take (Farmers) last year and the Dubai tournament out, and he hasn’t really played in two years. I think the biggest thing is to not get too far ahead, or think he’s going to come back and win straight away.

Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos

“The other time he came back, I don’t think he was ready and he probably came back too soon. This time he definitely looks ready. I think his swing is really nice, he’s hitting the driver a long way and he looks like he’s got some speed, which is great.”

Woods said that his caddie, Joe LaCava, spent four days with him in South Florida last week and that he’s ready to go.

“Before the Hero I was basically given the OK probably about three or four weeks prior to the tournament, and I thought I did pretty good in that prep time,” Woods told, referring to his tie for ninth in the 18-man event.

“Now I’ve had a little more time to get ready for this event. I’ve played a lot more golf, and overall I feel like I’ve made some nice changes. I feel good.”

Woods is first off Torrey Pines’ North Course in Wednesday’s pro-am, scheduled for 6:40 a.m. local time.