Junior Golf: Yes This Happens

In this Friday Flop Shot we want to bring up some things that do happen during golf tournaments and we encourage you to work with your son so he recognizes what he is going on and has some idea of what to do.image

Yes, we are talking about rules violations. It is amazing how quickly some young golfers grasp a few of the rules of the game. And understand that there are also rules that the pros have trouble with and a rules official may need to occasionally ask another rules guy or committee to help with a ruling. There are rules that are easier to grasp than others. (photo offcoursegolf.com)

For instance, putting a unique identifying mark on your golf ball. There are times during a golf tournament that your son may need to prove that a certain golf ball is his and it is not possible to do so unless he has marked his ball and shown his marked ball to his group members. Please recall the time when S3 and I saw Charley Hoffman and Billy Horschel showing each other their uniquely marked balls prior to teeing off in the Valero Texas Open. If the pros do it, every junior golfer needs to do it, period, for every event, no excuses.

Case in point. And this happened in a college event. A guy in my son’s group rope hooks his tee shot into the trees in the left rough. He declares that he is hitting a provisional and promptly hits it within a few yards of his 1st ball. Parents were allowed to help look for balls so Linda and I went looking for his balls. The young man offered that he was hitting Pro V’s (Titleist Pro V1) with a red number 1. Linda and I each found a ball matching the description, 2 balls exactly alike. I asked if there was an identifying mark on the ball and he said no. And then there’s the question of how did he know which was the 1st shot and which was the second, since both balls were identical and there was absolutely no way to decide which was the correct ball to hit. I believe that if the 1st ball is found, it must be played and the provisional ball is picked up. But, 2 BIG questions, is either of these balls his, because he has no way to prove it other than saying that it went past a certain landmark. And which is the 1st or 2nd ball? What a mess. (photo of Jordan Spieth’s golf ball courtesy of todaysgolfer.co.uk)image

Well, Linda and I could not comment and did not do so. S3 and the other guy in the group allowed the player to decide which ball was the 1st shot and allowed him to play it and still did not ask him to put his mark on it. Some things you see on the course are not readily explained. I am not a rules expert, but it seems the guy should have at least been penalized for not being able to identify his ball or should have gone back to the tee then hitting his 5th shot with a marked ball. Or is it a dq at some point? Does this fall under the playing the incorrect ball rule? And that rule is a 2-stroke penalty and the player returns to where he 1st played the wrong ball and plays the correct ball. Many times once the players understands he hit the wrong ball he looks a little more and finds his own ball. If your son were to tee off on the next hole without correcting his error he would be dq’d on the spot. See how quickly things can get confusing?

After the round, I asked S3 about this and I could see he knew that his response should have been different. However, being a young man who is not fond of confrontation, I understand why he went easy on the guy. This was a good lesson for our son and since then he has been much more on top of the rules.

See you on #1 tee, show me the mark on your ball… Sam

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