Question: Charlie and Jack are on the fourth hole during their Saturday men’s association play. Charlie addresses the ball and grounds his club behind the ball. He then decides to step away and use a different club. While walking back to his ball, it moves. Jack tells Charlie that he must incur a one-stroke penalty. Is Jack correct?
Answer: Jack is correct. Charlie’s prior action of addressing the ball and grounding his club is deemed to have caused the ball to move, unless there is virtual certainty that the wind or some other reason caused the ball to move. Charlie must add a penalty stroke and replace the ball. If it is deemed that the wind, etc., caused the ball to move, it must be played from where it comes to rest, and there is no penalty.
Tip of the Day: You never know when your ball might decide that it does not like the place it is resting. To avoid being deemed the cause of making it move, don’t ground your club.
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