QUESTION: In a stableford round Tom putted up just 50 cm short of the hole, he properly marked his ball, put the ball in his pocket and tended the flag for the other players. By accident when replacing the ball on the mark he substituted another ball and subsequently sunk the putt?
What is the ruling?
- Tom is penalized two strokes and must replace the proper ball on the mark before putting out
- Tom is penalized one stroke and must re-take the putt using the original ball
- Tom is penalized two strokes and the putt counts
ANSWER: (3) Unfortunately, a penalty of two strokes in stroke play and loss of hole in match play is incurred. The player would have substituted a ball when not permitted to do so (as with a lost ball or ball hit out of bounds). According to Rule 15-2, the second ball would become the ball in play and the penalty ascribed by the applicable rule would be incurred.
(This golf rules quiz item supplied by Cliff Nunn, a VGA state accredited rules official and proprietor of Golf Clubs Down Under.)