No 2 Ball in Branch of Tree

 

 

Question 1: A player's ball comes to rest against a broken branch lying on the ground, which is still attached to the trunk of a tree. May the player move the branch to the side or take relief without penalty?

Answer: No. The branch is still attached to the tree, a 'growing thing', and is therefore not a loose impediment. The player must play their ball as it lies, without moving the branch, or they may deem their ball unplayable and take relief under penalty of one stroke.
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Question 2: In stroke play, a player identifies their ball lodged in a tree, out of their reach, so they shake the tree and the ball drops to the ground. What is the ruling?
A) They may play the ball as it lies without penalty.
B) They may deem that their ball was unplayable in the tree, incurring one penalty stroke, and may then play it from where it lands.
C) They may deem that their ball was unplayable in the tree, incurring one penalty stroke, and may then drop it under one of the three options available under Rule 28.
D) They incur one penalty stroke for causing their ball to move and have to replace the ball back in the tree where it was at rest.

Answer: D) They incur one penalty stroke for causing their ball to move and have to replace the ball back in the tree where it was at rest.

The player should have deemed their ball unplayable before shaking the tree to dislodge it. As they did not, they incur a penalty of one stroke, under Rule 18-2a, for causing their ball in play to move. They should then replace the ball back in the tree, where it was before they moved it. If they do not do so and play the ball from where it dropped to, they incur a total penalty of two strokes. See the penalty statement under Rule 18, which states that when a player who is required to replace a ball fails to do so they incur the general penalty for breach of Rule 18, but there is no additional penalty under this Rule.

Question 3: Assuming that the player deemed their ball unplayable before they shook the tree to dislodge it, and then take the option of dropping within two club-lengths of the spot where the ball lay, but not nearer the hole, where may it be dropped?

Answer: Within two club-lengths of the spot on the ground directly under where the ball was at rest in the tree.

Another 'Rhodes Rules School' Q&A will follow next week,

 
Good golfing,
 
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