Rules to Play By Men vs Women

By Ray HerzogDecember 6, 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 Alan:
In a friendly match with my friend of 50 years a dispute came up that my friend refuses to acknowledge that he is wrong. We are both chipping to a green. He first from 100 feet, me from 50 feet. He chips to about 2 feet, and then slowly picks up his clubs and starts walking to mark his ball. After 10 seconds I am about to chip and (he) says stop - he wants to mark his ball and does. The dispute is he insists that if I chipped before he had said anything I would had been disqualified/or lost the hole because he was walking and intended to mark his ball. I say the rules are clear that if he says nothing I can go ahead and chip. I say that if I wait for his ball to stop and give him 5 seconds to say something then I am able to chip. He insists that a reasonable amount of time is 30 seconds, the time it would take him to walk to his ball.
I have to agree with you on this one. Rule 22-1 deals with a ball assisting play. It states, except when a ball is in motion, if a player considers that a ball might assist any other player, he may:
a) lift the ball if it is his ball, or
b) have any other ball lifted.
I read the rule quite a few times and it never mentioned a time frame when he could make a request to mark his ball. By you waiting 10 seconds, that is more than enough time for him to make a request. If you would have hit your shot, there is no way to penalize you. On the other hand, if you would have hit your shot after his request to mark, then that would have been an infraction and a loss-of-hole penalty. I hope this does not affect your 50-year friendship, but you are absolutely correct and your friend is absolutely wrong.
-- Ray
Bonus question from Lance Yorita
I run a golf club and every year we hold a mixed match play tournament (16 man/woman field -- we have 25 men and only 4 women members). In accordance with the recommended handicapping (per the USGA Rules of Golf), we handicap the matches at the full difference in handicaps. Now, when a man(20 handicap) plays a women(12 handicap) how do we stroke the holes? Off the man's eight hardest holes or the ladies?
The idea of handicaps is to enable golfers of differing abilities to compete on an equitable basis. In stroke play it is easy, you just subtract the handicaps at the end of the round. The lower net score wins. In match play it is a little more difficult. We have to apply the difference in course handicaps (8) to the appropriate holes. When men and women are playing a match, you dot the card according to the higher handicap. In your example, the man is getting 8 shots so he would receive strokes on his eight hardest holes. If the woman is getting strokes, she would receive strokes on her hardest holes. The USGA has put their Handicap Manual online. If you ever have a question you can go to and click on handicapping, the online manual is a click away.
-- Ray
Email your on-course rules dispute to Rules Judge Ray
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Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.