Q: Marcus and James are playing in a local two-ball tournament. On the fourth hole, there is a back-up in play as they wait their turn on the tee box. James takes his sand wedge and hits a few short chip shots on the tee box while they wait. Their opponents tell James that he has incurred a penalty for practicing on the course during tournament play. Has James violated the rules of golf?
A: No. There is no violation for practicing short chip shots on or near the tee box or the putting green of the hole last played or the practice putting green provided you do not hold up play and the tournament committee has not prohibited such action. There is a penalty if this practice occurs anywhere else on the course.
Tip: Make sure that you do not practice full swing shots.
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