There are many situations in golf that most golfers wouldn’t even consider as a possibility; there are even those that the USGA Rules Committee didn’t even consider. For these situations, there are “rules decisions.” These are decisions made on unforeseen situations in golf based on interpretation of the rules. A few interesting rules decisions are explained below.
- When a ball is struck, deemed lost and later found in the hole, the player is said to have holed out on the shot. When the ball goes in the hole, no matter what happens afterward, the player has holed out.
- When a player has multiple balls in play on multiple holes, the player is disqualified for failing to play the course in order.
- Any actions of maintenance by the player that would be illegal in situations that would give the player an advantage, such as the smoothing of a rough edge of the hole or the tapping down of spike marks, are legal when they are performed in such a way that is deemed unbeneficial to the player and beneficial to course maintenance.
- In stroke play, if a player purposely steps in the line of putt of another player in such a way that damages the line, the putting player is allowed to restore the line of putt to its previous condition (anyone, though, is allowed to perform the actual act of restoration). In match play, this act of purposely stepping in and damaging another player’s line of putt is punishable by loss of the hole.
While it is highly unlikely that while you are at Eagle Nest Golf Club or playing a round on any North Myrtle Beach golf course you will find yourself in any of these situations, you can rest assured that these rules decisions are in place, just in case.