Can wife trade husband for new golf clubs?

Contributing Columnist

I have received a number of golf questions of late and shall try to answer every question that comes across my desk. Here are a few of them:

It is great to have a partner, but in four-ball (partner’s better-ball) play, do you incur a two-stroke penalty:

(a) if your partner plays your ball by mistake.

(b) if your partner discovers he has 15 clubs in his bag before anyone plays from the second tee.

(c) if your partner arrives late for your tee time.

(d) in each of the above instances.

Only in (b) would you incur a two-stroke penalty in accordance with Rule 31-3; the side is penalized (meaning both partners).

What would be the ruling if a competitor, believing his original ball may be out of bounds, plays a provisional ball into the same area? After searching for two minutes, he finds a ball, which he believes is his original ball and plays it. He then discovers that the ball he played was his provisional ball.

The competitor must complete play of the hole with the provisional ball. The original ball was lost when he played a stroke with the provisional ball, Rule 27-2b, Decision 27-2b/7.

A player, using an orange ball, hit it into a bunker. When he arrived at the bunker, there was an orange ball and a white ball lying in the sand. The player, realizing he could not be penalized for playing a wrong ball from a hazard (Rule 15-3), decided to play the white ball first so as to get a free practice stroke, and then proceeded to play his orange ball. Did the player commit an infraction?

This comes very close to being a trick question. At first thought it would appear as though the player was very smart. However, that is not the case. In actuality, the player would be disqualified, since his action was not in the spirit of the game, Rule 33-7.

Finally, I enjoy telling this story, which actually occurred in the 3rd round at the US Senior Open several years ago. Larry Ziegler was very upset with the conditions of the course being so difficult. He made a 9 at the 18th hole.

To show his displeasure, he turned in his scorecard with a 12 instead of a 9 on the last hole, stating that the USGA wanted high scores, so he was going to collaborate. The official scorer in the scorer’s tent asked him to change the score, but he refused to do so.

Ziegler said they could not disqualify him because he turned in a higher score than he actually had made, not a lower score. What should be the proper procedure?

Ziegler was disqualified, also in compliance with Rule 33-7.

• • •

“I just got a new set of golf clubs for my husband,” beamed Jane to her golf partner.

“Gee, what a great trade!”

The IRS has made liars out of more Americans than the game of golf.

“Let’s stop by the clubhouse and pick up a fifth for golf.”

“You mean a fourth.”

“No, a fifth, I’m thirsty.”

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