Golf is fun, whether playing solo or with others. Having a basic understanding of the game’s rules makes it easier to enjoy the experience and improve your skills. In this periodic column, I provide brief explanations of golf rules and answer commonly asked questions.
Question: Clair and Catherine are playing in their ladies association event. On the fourth hole Clair has a ten foot putt for birdie. She shows Catherine that there is an old hole plug between her ball and the hole, and that is raised to the point that it will affect her putt. Can Clair attempt to repair the old plug?
Answer: Yes. A player may attempt to raise or lower the plug to make it level with the surface of the putting green. If this is impossible, she may discontinue play and request the Committee to repair the plug or declare it ground under repair. If the old plug is declared ground under repair, Clair would be entitled relief under Rule 25-1b(iii). This Rule basically allows Clair to move her ball to the nearest point of relief that takes the old plug out of her putting line.
Tip: Most of the time it is not practical to stop play and ask the Committee to solve the problem. This is especially true when we are playing in our friendly association events. I recommend that with the help of your playing competitors, you decide where the nearest point of relief is, and remark your ball at that spot. Remember that an old hole plug in it’s self is not reason for relief. It must be irregular to the surface of the green and not repairable.
As always, have fun playing and practicing golf. Email me at email@example.com if you have any questions or suggestions.
By Graham Lewis, golf pro at Sapelo Hammock Golf Course in McIntosh County.