No.20 Abnormal Use of Putter
 
 
 
Question 1: In stroke play, a player taps the ball into the hole with the back of his putter. What is the ruling?
a)    He incurs a penalty of one stroke and must replace the ball where it was before the putt.
b)    He incurs a penalty of two strokes and must replace the ball where it was before the putt.
c)    He incurs a penalty of two strokes and the putt stands.
d)    There is no penalty and the putt stands.

Answer: d) There is no penalty and the putt stands.

Decision 14-1/1 confirms that a player may play a stroke with any part of the clubhead, provided the ball is fairly struck at.
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Question 2: In stroke play a player taps the ball into the hole with the grip end of his putter. What is the ruling?
a)    He incurs a penalty of one stroke and must replace the ball where it was before the putt.
b)    He incurs a penalty of two strokes and must replace the ball where it was before the putt.
c)    He incurs a penalty of two strokes and the putt stands.
d)    There is no penalty and the putt stands.

Answer:
c) He incurs a penalty of two strokes and the putt stands.
 
 
Rule 14-1 requires that the ball be struck at with the head of the club. In stroke play there is a penalty of two strokes and the stroke with the wrong end of the putter counts (Decision 14-1/3).

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

 
Good golfing,
 
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