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Until a ball comes to rest in a body of moving water, there is no penalty for taking a stroke at the moving ball, even if it turns out to be a wrong ball. Once the ball stops in the water, you must identify it prior to making a stroke.


Playing a partner’s ball creates two situations to correct. On your own scorecard, you incur a two-stroke penalty and must play your original ball from where it lies. Your partner must replace his or her ball on the spot where it was played.


For example, your tee Your ball Partner’s ball


shot came to rest out of bounds and you made a stroke at it from that posi- tion. You would be playing your 5th stroke after return- ing to the tee (the origi- nal tee shot, two penalty strokes for playing a wrong ball—Rule 15-3—and one penalty stroke for stroke and distance—Rule 27-1). A substituted ball is


with the wrong ball don’t count. You will be playing your 4th stroke with your original ball. The only instance in


which you do not get penal- ized for playing a wrong ball is when you make a stroke at a ball moving in water, in a water hazard or lateral water hazard. A wrong ball includes another player’s ball, an abandoned ball and your ball that has been taken out of play (marked on the put- ting green and set aside). Playing a wrong ball also


You must finish a hole with the ball put in play off the tee. Therefore, any substitution on the putting green is subject to penalty.


includes playing your ball when it lies out of bounds. When your ball lies out of bounds, it is no longer in play, and if you play a stroke at it, you have played a wrong ball. To correct this mistake, your only option is to proceed under stroke and distance.


not a wrong ball. If you substitute a “lucky put- ting ball” for your original ball and play a stroke at it, you incur a penalty but are not required to correct this mistake. Prior to 2008, you were not penalized for playing a wrong ball out of a hazard. Since then, Rule 12-2 has been amended to require you to identify your ball anywhere on the course. What happens if you


play your partner’s golf ball? You incur a penalty of two strokes and must correct your mistake. Your partner must place a ball on the spot from where it was errone- ously played. If the exact spot cannot be determined, the ball must be dropped as near as possible to the original spot.


E-mail Ryan at rgregg@ncga.org FALL 2012 / NCGA.ORG / 63


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