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E-Revision Rules Questions from 2016

September 30, 2016 e-Revision Question:

It's been raining steadily and Peter is having trouble finding a dry spot on the teeing ground. He takes a rake from a nearby bunker and uses the back of it to push water away from the part of the teeing ground where he wants to take his stance. He hits a great tee shot down the middle of the fairway but it stops quickly in a large puddle. When he gets to his ball, he picks it up and drops it at the nearest point where the lie of the ball and his stance are clear of the puddle, not nearer the hole. However, as he takes his stance he sees that water is still visible around the soles of his shoes from the same area of casual water. He picks-up his ball again and repeatedly steps sideways until he finds the nearest point to where his ball originally lay in the puddle where the water is not visible around his shoes. He correctly drops his ball about two feet away from this point and then plays a long iron shot just short of the putting green. It is still raining and Peter has his umbrella open. He hands it to his fellow competitor to hold while he takes his first putt, which stops short of the hole. He removes the flagstick, takes back his umbrella from his fellow competitor and holds it open over his head with one hand, as he grips his putter with the other to easily putt out. What is Peter's score for the hole?


September 15, 2016 e-Revision Question:

Henry has a good lead in the Senior Championship after Day 1.  During the 2nd round he still maintains a slim lead heading to the final hole. His drive from the teeing ground lands in a fairway bunker, ending up directly beneath a large twig that has fallen from an overhanging tree. His fellow competitor, George, who has no chance at winning anything and is rooting for Henry to win, walks into the bunker and carefully removes the twig, without moving Henry's ball. George didn't think it was fair for Henry to have such bad luck on the final hole. Henry did not see George move the twig and George doesn't mention it until after Henry plays out of the bunker. Henry hits the shot cleanly but he hooks it and the ball rolls across the fairway and just drops into the shallow water of a water hazard. Thinking he can get a club behind the ball with one foot in the water, he takes off his right shoe and sock to avoid getting them wet. He takes his stance, remembering not to ground his club inside the water hazard, but as he makes his backswing he grazes the surface of the water, creating a few ripples. He completes the stroke splashing his ball out to the side of the putting green. He then holes out with a chip and a putt. What is Henry's score for the hole?


September 01, 2016 e-Revision Question:

Dave and Rick have agreed to play a match at 9:00 am in the morning. Dave arrives on time but Rick does not make it until 9:15 am, because he has been delayed by fog. As luck would have it, the course is closed and does not open until the fog begins to clear at 10:00 am, but Dave thinks that Rick has lost the first hole because he arrived after the agreed starting time. They decide to play out the hole while they get a decision from a Committee member. Dave drives his ball into a fairway bunker and Rick drives his ball up the right-hand side of the fairway. Dave decides to use a rescue wood from the shallow bunker and as he positions his club head behind the ball he accidentally touches it, but it doesn't move. He makes his stroke and the ball comes to rest just off the putting green. Rick's ball is lying close to a sprinkler head but it is sitting-up nicely and he decides not to take relief from the immovable obstruction. However, when he makes his stroke he does touch the outside of the sprinkler head with the toe of his club as he follows through. His ball comes to rest on the other side of the hole to Dave's but on the putting green. Rick thinks that it is Dave's turn to play but Dave is sure that Rick is actually away. After a brief argument Dave angrily picks-up the flagstick and uses it to measure the distances. Unfortunately, in his haste he knocks his own ball with the flagstick, moving it forward several inches. He quickly replaces the ball where it was and tells Rick that he will play first. His putt stops 12 inches from the hole and Rick tells him to pick it up, which he does. Rick then takes two putts to hole out. What is the result of the hole, assuming that the opponents made a valid claim about any breach of the Rules that may have occurred?


Because the course was closed at the time the match was scheduled to start, and Rick arrived before the course opened, he incurred no penalty for arriving after the scheduled tee time.  (Decision 6-3a/4).
Dave - Drive into the bunker (first stroke)
Rick  - Drive up right-hand side of the fairway (first stroke).
Dave - Rescue club from the bunker to the edge of the putting green (2nd stroke).  There is no penalty for Dave accidentally touching his ball with his club in the bunker, as it did not move (Decision 13-4/12).
Rick - Stroke to the putting green (2nd stroke). There is no penalty for touching the sprinkler, an immovable obstruction, during the stroke, since Rick had chosen not to take relief from it.
Dave - Putt to 12 inches from the hole. (3rd stroke) There is no penalty for accidentally moving a ball while measuring and the ball must be replaced (Rule 18-6).
Dave- Conceded putt (4th stroke)
Rick - Two putts to hole out (3rd and 4th stroke).
The hole is halved with fours.

August 15, 2016 e-Revision Question:

Al and Pat both hit their tee shots into an area of light rough and while looking for the balls, Pat accidentally steps on Al's ball embedding it into the soft ground. Without marking his ball Al picks it up and carefully replaces it in the light rough next to the depression from where he had lifted it. He plays out of the rough onto the fairway and from there into shallow water in a water hazard close to the left edge of the green. In taking his stance his right foot is in the shallow water. Because there is a large stone under his foot he kicks it aside to get a firmer footing. He hits his ball out of the water onto the putting green from where he takes two more strokes to hole out. What is Al's score for the hole?


August 1, 2016 e-Revision Question:

 On the 3rd hole of a stroke play competition Craig drives his ball straight down the middle of the fairway. He takes some practice swings about three paces to the side of his ball and accidentally takes a large divot, which lands in front of his ball, affecting his intended swing. He removes and replaces the divot and then plays to about 80 yards from the green. His chip onto the putting green, which has a severe slope back to front, goes well past the hole and he is left with a tricky downhill putt. He putts too firmly and his ball runs past the hole, all the way down the slope and into a greenside bunker. He calmly picks it out of the bunker, replaces it where he estimates it was on the putting green, and putts down to the hole again. This time he judges the speed better and is able to hole out the resulting two-footer to finish out. What is Craig's score for the hole?


July 15, 2016 e-Revision Question:

Playing in one of the last groups of the day, Mark has trouble finding a place to tee his ball on the par-3 13th teeing ground, due to all the divots made by those playing before him. He finds a small area of untouched grass on the inside of the left-hand tee-marker, tees his ball there and then finds that the tee-marker is in his swing path, so he lifts it and sets it aside. He makes his stroke and his ball hits the bank of a green side bunker and drops back in. He replaces the tee-marker and walks to the green where he finds his ball lying in the middle of a puddle that almost fills the bunker. The only place that he could drop his ball in the bunker that is not in casual water would mean dropping it closer to the hole. He lifts his ball and drops it outside the bunker several club-lengths away on a line from the hole through where his ball lay in the casual water. He plays onto the putting green and takes two putts to hole out. What is Mark's score for the hole?


July 1, 2016 e-Revision Question:

On a long par-3 Todd hits his tee shot in the direction of a bunker at the side of the green. As he is walking towards the hole he sees a dog run into the bunker and then run off with a ball in its mouth. There is no other ball in the bunker and Todd is not sure where his ball was at rest when the dog took it, but by looking at the footprints in the bunker he agrees with his marker where it was most likely to have been and drops another ball there. He plays his ball out of the bunker onto the putting green and marks it. His fellow competitor asks him to mark his ball one putter-head to the side as the ball-marker is on his line of putt. Todd does so and stands aside. When it is his turn to putt he places his ball at his marker, forgetting that he had marked to the side. He putts into the hole. It is only then that the fellow competitor realizes that Todd has putted from the wrong place. He estimates where his ball was originally marked and putts from there, missing the first putt but holing the one back. What is Todd's score for the hole?



June 15, 2016 e-Revision Question:

 After a wild drive Bill has been searching for his ball for three minutes when he decides to return to the teeing ground to play another ball. It takes him a minute to walk back and he then tees-up another ball. Just as he is about to make his stroke he hears a shout from one of his fellow competitors who has found a ball in deep rough in the area that his ball was likely to be. It takes him another minute to get back to the place where the ball has been found. By the time he is able to identify his ball more than five minutes have passed since he first started to look for it. Bill decides not to return to the teeing ground again and plays his original ball from the rough, only moving it forward a few feet where it still lies in long, dense grass. After he takes his stance he grounds his club behind his ball, which settles down an inch or so lower into the grass. Nevertheless, Bill ignores the movement of the ball and makes his stroke, hitting the ball back onto the fairway from where he takes three more strokes to finish the hole. What is Bill's score for the hole?


June 1, 2016 e-Revision Question:

Roger takes his stance on the teeing ground area and feels an uneven patch beneath his left foot. He sees that there is a deep divot where he wants to stand, so he takes a trowel full of sand/seed mix and fills it. As he prepares to address his ball for the second time he realizes that there is some long grass growing on the teeing ground behind where he has teed his ball that could affect his back swing, so he breaks the grass off. He then drives his ball from the tee into a lateral water hazard. He considers playing his ball from the hazard but decides against it and retrieves it, finding that it is caked in mud. Instead of cleaning it, he takes out a new ball and drops it within one club-length of where it last crossed the margin of the hazard, not nearer the hole. The ball bounces back towards the margin of the hazard, but just stops short. Roger takes his stance with one foot inside the hazard and the other outside and plays his ball towards the putting green. He takes three more strokes to hole out. What is Rogers score for the hole?


May 15, 2016 e-Revision Question:

Mark has played two shots and his ball is lying in the rough next to a pine cone which he thinks will interfere with his next shot.  He very carefully removes the pine cone but in the process he accidentally brushes his ball with his finger but does not move the ball.  He hits his next shot just short of a greenside bunker and since his sand wedge has been giving him fits today, he decides he is going to putt through the bunker. However, there are three more pine cones lying in the bunker, which could deflect his ball. He carefully walks into the bunker and removes the pine cones. His putt through the bunker works well and ends up on the green 4 feet from the hole.  He marks, lifts, cleans and replaces his ball and then addresses it by grounding his club. He then realizes that the line he put on his ball to help him line up putts isn't aimed correctly, so he steps back, puts down his ball-marker and rotates his ball without lifting it. He then sinks the putt.  What is Mark's score for the hole?


Mark scores 5 for the hole.

May 1, 2016 e-Revision Question:

With the VGA Spring 4 Ball going on this week and a busy week getting ready for it, we are taking a break from presenting a Rules situation this revision. However, we'll use this time to talk about stake colors - we're all pretty familiar with the standard white, yellow and red stakes:

    White stakes Boundry States (out of bounds)

    Yellow stakes Water Hazard

    Red stakes Lateral Water Hazard

However, occasionally you may run across some stakes of a different color and these will be defined under a Local Rule, usually on the back of the score card or on the Local Rules sheet if you are playing in a tournament. Examples of these other, less common, colored stakes are:

    Ground under repair – blue or black stakes (although GUR is usually denoted by a white line painted around the area)

    Environmentally sensitive areas (ESA) defined as a water hazard – yellow stakes with green tops (Decision 33-8/41)

    ESA defined as a lateral water hazard - red stakes with green tops

    ESA defined as ground under repair - blue stakes with green tops

It is important to know that white stakes defining out of bounds are not obstructions and are deemed to be fixed. There is no relief available from them, even if they interfere with a player’s lie, stance, or area of intended swing. But most other stakes are movable obstructions providing they can be moved without unreasonable effort, without unduly delaying play and without causing damage.

April 15, 2016 e-Revision Question:

A Provisional Ball is a ball played under Rule 27-2 for a ball that may be lost outside of a water hazard or out of bounds.  Before a player plays a provisional ball, the player must 1) announce to his opponent or fellow-competitor that he intends to play a provisional ball and 2) play that provisional ball before he or his partner goes forward to search for the original ball.  Which of the following statements are not acceptable statements to indicate that the player wishes to play a provisional.

A) "That might be lost. I am going to re-load".

B) "I'd better hit another one".

C) "I'll never find that one.  I'll play another".

D) All of the above.


The correct answer is D - all of the above.  None of these statements satisfy the requirement of announcing a provisional ball.  Basically the player’s statement must specifically mention the words “provisional ball” or must make it clear that he is proceeding under Rule 27-2a.  Therefore, a player who says nothing or makes an ambiguous statement similar to the ones above has put another ball into ball under Stroke and Distance (Rule 27-1).

April 1, 2016 e-Revision Question:

On the 5th tee of a stroke play competition, A inadvertently pulls B's driver out of B's bag and makes a stroke from the teeing ground. He then realizes the mistake, hands the club to B and declares it out of play. A then makes a stroke with his own driver from within the 5th teeing ground. He abandons the first ball and takes four more strokes (5 total) to complete play of the hole with the second ball. He continues the round and plays from the 6th tee. What is A's score for the 5th hole?

(A) 7

(B) 8

(C) 9

(D) A is disqualified.


Player A’s score for the hole is 9.  Rule 4-4a and Rule 27-1.

  1. When Player A made a stroke with B’s driver, the ball was in play and player A incurred a two stroke penalty for using a club selected for play by another person playing the course (Rule 4-4a). 3 strokes
  2. When Player A put a ball into play off the tee using his own driver, he was operating under Rule 27-1 stroke and distance.  2 strokes.
  3. Player A continues play of the hole with the 2nd ball (correctly as the 1st ball is now out of play) and takes 4 strokes to complete the hole.

If player A had continued play of the hole with the 1st ball without hitting another ball from the tee, and took the same 4 strokes to complete the hole, his score would have been 7.

March 15, 2016 e-Revision Question:

A player replaces his ball on the putting green but does not remove his ball marker.  Subsequently the wind moves his ball to a new position.  What is the ruling?


A ball is in play when it is replaced, whether or not the object used to mark its position has been removed (Rule 20-4). Consequently the ball must be played from its new position - see Decision 18-1/12.

March 1, 2016 e-Revision Question:

Playing in one of the last tee times of the day in a stroke play tournament with a full field, Herb finds that the teeing ground on the short Par-3 15th hole has divot holes all over it. He takes out his driver and measures two club-lengths back from the tee markers. He then places his ball on a tee just inside this measured area, takes out his 8-iron and plays to the fringe of the putting green. Arriving at his ball he decides to putt instead of chip and checks out his intended line of play. He sees that an acorn that had fallen from an overhanging tree has been stopped on and pushed into the apron of the green on his line of play. He pries it out with his divot tool, but remembers that he may not repair the hole that is left on his line of play. As he goes through his pre-putt routine he accidentally touches his ball with his putter. It rocks forward a dimple but returns to where it was. He putts his ball close to the hole and taps it in. What is Herb's score for the hole?


  1. His 8-iron stroke to the fringe of the putting green = 1 stroke.
    Note: A player is entitled to measure the extent of the teeing ground with any club in their bag and then tee within that area.
  2. Two penalty strokes for removing the acorn, which was solidly embedded in the fringe of the putting green and was not therefore a loose impediment that could be removed without penalty (Decision 23/9).
  3. There is no penalty for touching the ball with the club, providing the ball does not come to rest in a different place (Definition of Moved).
  4. Putt from the fringe and tap in = 2 strokes.

Herb scores 5 for the hole.

February 1, 2016 e-Revision Question:

Charlie is playing Rick in the finals of the Club Championship (singles match play). Having won the first two holes Charlie is putting his driver back in his bag after a good tee shot on the 3rd hole when he realizes that he has not removed a club that he found on the course the day before, meaning that he is carrying 15 clubs in his bag. He advises Rick that he has someone else's club in his bag but obviously will not be using it during the round. Rick then drives his ball down the fairway, close to where Charlie's ball is lying. Still worrying about the extra club that he was carrying Charlie plays Rick's ball by mistake. Rick does not notice and plays Charlie's ball to the putting green. Charlie takes two more strokes to hole out and Rick takes three. What is the state of the match at the end of this 3rd hole, assuming the opponents make a valid claim about any breach of the Rules that may have occurred?


  1. Charlie won the first two holes.
  2. Charlie lost the 3rd hole as soon as he played the wrong ball on his second stroke. The result of the hole was already decided when Rick also played a wrong ball (Rule 15-3a).
  3. At the conclusion of the 3rd hole, during which Charlie had discovered that he had started the round with 15 clubs, the state of the match is adjusted by deducting one hole for each hole at which a breach occurred, with a maximum deduction per round of two holes (Rule 4-4a).
  4. So, after winning two holes, losing one hole and having been deducted two holes, Charlie is now 1 down.
  5. The state of the match at the end of the 3rd hole is that Rick is 1 up.

January 15, 2016 e-Revision Question:

After two strokes Pete's ball is lying close to the putting green when his fellow competitor, Glenn's ball hits it, moving it a few inches. The two balls come to rest side by side.  Without having been asked, Pete lifts his ball, cleans it and puts it in his pocket, telling Glenn that he must play his ball as it lies and that since Pete's ball would probably interfere with the play of the other ball, he will replace it when it is his turn to play.  After Glenn plays, Pete removes the ball from his pocket and replaces it where it was before Glenn's ball moved it.  He then decides he wants to putt his ball, so he takes his putter out of his bag, bends down and rotates the ball so that the line he uses to identify his ball aligns with his intended line of putt.  He takes two putts to hole out  What is Pete's score for the hole?


  1. The first sentence tells up that Pete lies 2 close to the putting green.
  2. Next we’re told that Glenn’s ball hits and moves Pete’s ball a few inches.  Rule 18-5 tells us that when a ball at rest is moved by another ball, it must be replaced.  Rule 21 tells us that a ball lifted under the Rules may be cleaned (with certain exceptions).  In this situation, since Pete was required to lift and replace his ball, he was allowed to clean it before replacing it. No penalty
  3. Pete tells Glenn he thinks his ball might interfere with Glenn’s play so he will replace it after Glenn hits.  Normally, when a ball lies off the putting green, a player is not allowed to lift his ball solely because he thinks it will interfere with the play of another player.  He can only lift it if requested to by the other player.  (Rule 22-2).  However, in this situation,  since Pete lifted his ball because it had been moved, he did not have to replace it until it was his turn to play.  No penalty here.
  4. Pete incurs a 1 stroke penalty under Rule 18-2a(i) when he rotates his ball to line it up.  He purposely touched his ball in play. (He would have been okay if he had lined it up WHILE he was replacing it!)
  5. 2 putts to hole out.

Pete scores 5 for the hole.