Rules Quiz

Once a week I will post a set of questions on the rules of golf. Some of the questions will test basic knowledge and others will test applications of the rules as determined by the Decisions on the Rules of Golf.

The following week I will post the answers along with a new set of questions.

I am posting the questions and answers in English and I would appreciate hearing from a volunteer who is willing to do the translation.

The Week 1 questions are:

1. If a player starts a round with 14 clubs and loses a club during the round, he may add another club. True or false?

2. Two players unknowingly exchange balls by mistake after finishing a hole. Both players tee off at the next hole with the mistakenly exchanged balls. Each player has played a wrong ball incurring a penalty. True or false?

3. A player plays a provisional ball from the teeing ground. He discovers his original ball is out of bounds and cannot find the provisional ball. What is the correct ruling? a. He must return to the tee where he will be playing his third shot. b. He must return to the tee where he will be playing his fifth shot. c. He must drop a ball inbounds as near as possible to the where the out of bounds ball was discovered and he will be playing his fifth shot.

4. A player putted his ball from the fringe of the putting green and it struck the unattended flagstick in the hole. In stroke play there is a 2 stroke penalty. True or false?

5. Which is the only correct statement below regarding improving conditions affecting a player's play? a. He may improve the lie of his ball by pressing down a divot that has been replaced. b. He may improve the area of his intended swing in fairly taking his stance. c. On the teeing ground he may stand on a branch of a bush to prevent it from interfering with his backswing.

6. A player's ball lies in a bunker that is completely filled with casual water. In some places the water is 2 feet deep. Which one of the statements below is the only correct ruling? a. He must play the ball as it lies. b. He may drop the ball, without penalty, inside the bunker at the nearest place not nearer the hole where the water is the shallowest. c. He may drop the ball, with a one stroke penalty, outside the bunker within one club-length of where the ball entered the bunker.

7. A's ball has come to rest behind a divot that is not completely detached. He may remove the divot or press it down before playing his stroke. True or false?

8. When taking relief from a cart path a player must determine his nearest point of relief which is not nearer to the hole and which provides complete relief from the cart path. Which is the only correct statement below with regards to the nearest point of relief? a. The nearest point of relief can be on either side of the cart path as long as either point is not nearer to the hole. b. There is only one nearest point of relief.

9. At a par-3 hole a player, believing his ball may be lost, plays a provisional ball. He searches five minutes for the original ball and then plays the provisional ball onto the green, chipping it into the hole. At that point the original ball is found in the hole. What is the player's score for the hole? a. one b. two c. three d. four

10. When marking his ball on the putting green a player consistently places his coin two inches behind the ball. Is this a breach of the rules subject to a penalty of one stroke each time?

Answers to Week 1 questions:

1. If a player starts a round with 14 clubs and loses a club during the round, he may add another club. True or false? Decision 4-3/10 A lost club is not one which has become unfit for play in the normal course of play " see Rule 4-3.

2. Two players unknowingly exchange balls by mistake after finishing a hole. Both players tee off at the next hole with the mistakenly exchanged balls. Each player has played a wrong ball incurring a penalty. True or false? Decision 15-1/1 A ball played from the teeing ground into the hole is not a wrong ball, even if it does not belong to the player.

3. A player plays a provisional ball from the teeing ground. He discovers his original ball is out of bounds and cannot find the provisional ball. What is the correct ruling? a. He must return to the tee where he will be playing his third shot. b. He must return to the tee where he will be playing his fifth shot. Decision 27- 2c/4 c. He must drop a ball inbounds as near as possible to where the out of bounds ball was discovered and he will be playing his fifth shot.

4. A player putted his ball from the fringe of the putting green and it struck the unattended flagstick in the hole. In stroke play there is a 2 stroke penalty. True or false? Rule 17-3

5. Which is the only correct statement below regarding improving conditions affecting a player's play? a. He may improve the lie of his ball by pressing down a divot that has been replaced. b. He may improve the area of his intended swing in fairly taking his stance. Rule 13-2 c. On the teeing ground he may stand on a branch of a bush to prevent it from interfering with his backswing.

6. A player's ball lies in a bunker that is completely filled with casual water. In some places the water is 2 feet deep. Which one of the statements below is the only correct ruling? a. He must play the ball as it lies. b. He may drop the ball, without penalty, inside the bunker at the nearest place not nearer the hole where the water is the shallowest. Rule 25-1b(ii)b c. He may drop the ball, with a one stroke penalty, outside the bunker within one club-length of where the ball entered the bunker.

7. A's ball has come to rest behind a divot that is not completely detached. He may remove the divot or press it down before playing his stroke. True or false? Decision 13-2/5 A divot which is not completely detached is not a loose impediment. It is something fixed and therefore its removal or replacement would be a breach of Rule 13-2 as the lie and area of the intended swing would be improved.

8. When taking relief from a cart path a player must determine his nearest point of relief which is not nearer to the hole and which provides complete relief from the cart path. Which is the only correct statement below with regards to the nearest point of relief? a. The nearest point of relief can be on either side of the cart path as long as either point is not nearer to the hole. b. There is only one nearest point of relief. For any situation there is only one NPR. Sometimes that point is obvious and sometimes not. The key is in determining it accurately. By definition the "nearest point of relief" is the reference point for taking relief without penalty from interference by an immovable obstruction (Rule 24-2) (like a cart path), an abnormal ground condition (Rule 25-1) or a wrong putting green (Rule 25-3). It is the point on the course nearest to where the ball lies: (i) that is not nearer the hole, and (ii) where, if the ball were so positioned, no interference by the condition from which relief is sought would exist for the stroke the player would have made from the original position if the condition were not there. To avoid playing from a wrong place and being penalized, the player must ensure that he finds the one nearest point of relief, by measurement if necessary, and that position is determined by using the same club the player would have used had the condition not been there.

9. At a par-3 hole a player, believing his ball may be lost, plays a provisional ball. He searches five minutes for the original ball and then plays the provisional ball onto the green, chipping it into the hole. At that point the original ball is found in the hole. What is the player's score for the hole? a. one Decision 1-1/3 The play of the hole was completed when the player holed the original ball (Rule 1-1). b. two c. three d. four

10. When marking his ball on the putting green a player consistently places his coin two inches behind the ball. Is this a breach of the rules subject to a penalty of one stroke each time? Yes Decision 20-1/20 The player cannot be considered to have marked the position of the ball with sufficient accuracy.

Week 2 questions:

1. Grass cuttings left on the course which have been abandoned and are not intended to be removed are ground under repair. True or False?

2. Under the Rules of Golf, who may deem a ball unplayable? a. The player only. b. The caddie or player. c. The player, his partner or either of their caddies. d. The opponent.

3. In stroke play, a player takes relief from an out of bounds fence under the obstruction Rule and plays the ball. What is the ruling? a. There is no penalty. b. There is a one stroke penalty. c. There is a two stroke penalty.

4. In stroke play, a player strikes his tee shot on a par-3 hole into a water hazard. Finding the ball in the hazard, he plays it further into the hazard where it is lost. He drops a ball in the hazard where he last played, but it embeds. He abandons the ball, plays another from the tee onto the green, holes the putt, and tees off on the next hole. What is the ruling? a. His score for the hole is five. b. His score for the hole is six. c. He is disqualified.

5. A player removes a partially embedded pine cone on his line of putt and repairs the depression left by the pine cone. What is the ruling? a. He was not permitted to remove the pine cone and repair the depression. b. He was permitted to remove the pine cone and repair the depression. c. He was permitted to remove the pine cone but not to repair the depression.

6. A player was unable to find his ball because another player played it. Even if his search had lasted more than five minutes, he does not have a lost ball. True or False?

7. Which action is permitted before the stroke when a player's ball lies in a bunker? a. Placing clubs, an umbrella or a rake in the bunker. b. Throwing a rake into the bunker, causing the ball to move. c. Sticking the handle of a rake into the sand.

8. In stroke play, before playing a stroke from the teeing ground, a player relocates one tee-marker because it interferes with his stance. He then plays his stroke and replaces the tee-marker. What is the ruling? a. There is no penalty. b. There is a two stroke penalty. c. He is disqualified.

9. The Committee organizing and running a competition may make a Local Rule for a stroke play event requiring competitors to play continuously on a putting green until holing out. True or False?

10. In stroke play, a player's ball lies in a water hazard. Before playing his ball, he takes several practice swings, each time touching the ground and causing leaves to move in the hazard. He also removes several strands of tall grass with his hand, improving the area of his backswing. What is the ruling? a. There is a two stroke penalty. b. There is a total penalty of four strokes. c. There is a total penalty of six strokes.

Answers to Week 2 questions:

1. Grass cuttings left on the course which have been abandoned and are not intended to be removed are ground under repair. True or False? The definition of Ground under Repair is “any part of the course so marked by order of the Committee or so declared by its authorized representative. All ground and any grass, bush, tree or other growing thing within the ground under repair are part of the ground under repair. Ground under repair includes material piled for removal and a hole made by a greenkeeper, even if not so marked. Grass cuttings and other material left on the course that have been abandoned and are not intended to be removed are not ground under repair unless so marked.”

2. Under the Rules of Golf, who may deem a ball unplayable? a. The player only. Rule 28 The player may deem his ball unplayable at any place on the course, except when the ball is in a water hazard. The player is the sole judge as to whether his ball is unplayable. b. The caddie or player. c. The player, his partner or either of their caddies. d. The opponent.

3. In stroke play, a player takes relief from an out of bounds fence under the obstruction Rule and plays the ball. What is the ruling? a. There is no penalty. b. There is a one stroke penalty. c. There is a two stroke penalty. Definition of "Obstructions" and Rule 18-2a. An out of bounds fence is not an obstruction.

4. In stroke play, a player strikes his tee shot on a par-3 hole into a water hazard. Finding the ball in the hazard, he plays it further into the hazard where it is lost. He drops a ball in the hazard where he last played, but it embeds. He abandons the ball, plays another from the tee onto the green, holes the putt, and tees off on the next hole. What is the ruling? a. His score for the hole is five. b. His score for the hole is six. Rule 26-2a. c. He is disqualified.

5. A player removes a partially embedded pine cone on his line of putt and repairs the depression left by the pine cone. What is the ruling? a. He was not permitted to remove the pine cone and repair the depression. b. He was permitted to remove the pine cone and repair the depression. c. He was permitted to remove the pine cone but not to repair the depression. Decision 16-1a/7 ... The question asked ... A player removed with his hand an embedded pine cone on his line of putt. The pine cone was not solidly embedded, so it was a loose impediment. The player then repaired the depression in which the pine cone lay. Was the repair of the depression a breach of Rule 16-1a? The Answer: Yes

6. A player was unable to find his ball because another player played it. Even if his search had lasted more than five minutes, he does not have a lost ball. True or False? Decision 27/6 ... The question asked... A and B hit their tee shots into the same general area. A found a ball and played it. B went forward to look for his ball and could not find it. After a few minutes, B started back to the tee to put another ball into play. On the way, he found A's ball and knew that A had played his ball (B's) in error. What is the ruling? The answer... In match play, A lost the hole (Rule 15-3a). In stroke play, A incurred a penalty of two strokes for playing a wrong ball and must then play his own ball (Rule 15-3B). A's ball was not lost even if A and B had been searching for more than five minutes because A had not “begun to search for his ball”; the searching had been for B's ball. On the other hand, B began to search for his ball as soon as he went forward to look for it. If less than five minutes had elapsed before B found A's ball, B should have placed a ball on the spot from which A had wrongly played his (B's) ball and continued play without penalty. HOWEVER, if five minutes had expired, B's original ball was lost and he was obliged to put another ball into play under penalty of stroke and distance (Rule 27-1).

7. Which action is permitted before the stroke when a player's ball lies in a bunker? a. Placing clubs, an umbrella or a rake in the bunker. Rule 13-4, Exception 1 b. Throwing a rake into the bunker, causing the ball to move. c. Sticking the handle of a rake into the sand.

8. In stroke play, before playing a stroke from the teeing ground, a player relocates one tee-marker because it interferes with his stance. He then plays his stroke and replaces the tee-marker. What is the ruling? a. There is no penalty. b. There is a two stroke penalty. Decision 11-2/2 c. He is disqualified.

9. The Committee organizing and running a competition may make a Local Rule for a stroke play event requiring competitors to play continuously on a putting green until holing out. True or False? Rule 33-1 states that the Committee has no power to waive a Rule of Golf. Decision 33-8/7 answers the question above by stating... No. Such a local rule would modify Rules 10-1b and 10-2b which require that the ball further from the hole shall be played first.

10. In stroke play, a player's ball lies in a water hazard. Before playing his ball, he takes several practice swings, each time touching the ground and causing leaves to move in the hazard. He also removes several strands of tall grass with his hand, improving the area of his backswing. What is the ruling? a. There is a two stroke penalty. b. There is a total penalty of four strokes. c. There is a total penalty of six strokes. Rule 26-2a

Week 3 questions:

1. A player takes proper relief from a permanent ball-washer that interferes with his stance. After relief, a fixed bench interferes with his swing. What is the ruling? a. He properly took relief but he must re-drop the ball without penalty because of interference by the bench. b. He should have taken relief from both obstructions with a single procedure and is not entitled to re-drop the ball without penalty. c. He proceeded correctly and he is entitled to relief from the bench.

2. Which is correct regarding loose impediments? a. A large tree not attached to its stump is not a loose impediment. b. A player may break off a piece of a large loose impediment. c. A live insect may not be removed from a ball lying through the green.

3. In match play, a player plays from a bunker. As a result of the stroke, a small stone is removed that strikes his opponent's ball and moves it. What is the ruling? a. There is no penalty. b. The player incurs a one stroke penalty. c. The player incurs a loss of hole penalty.

4. A ball is lost if a player has played a provisional ball from a point nearer the hole than where the original ball is likely to be. True or false?

5. A player's ball comes to rest in a tree where it is visible but cannot be recovered or played. What is the ruling? a. If he can identify his ball, it may be deemed unplayable. b. If he cannot recover the ball, it is lost even if it is identified. c. If he cannot identify the ball, it must be declared lost or unplayable.

6. In stroke play, a competitor returned his score card. The hole-by-hole scores were correct, but the competitor had recorded a total score that was one stroke lower than his actual score. What is the ruling? a. The Committee should correct the error; the competitor incurs no penalty. b. The competitor should correct his mistake before the competition closes; otherwise, the incorrect total stands. c. The competitor incurs a two-stroke penalty. d. The competitor is disqualified.

7. In stroke play, a player purposely removes a boundary stake on his line of play, but he replaces it before making his next stroke. What is the ruling? a. The player incurs a two-stroke penalty. b. The player incurs a one-stroke penalty. c. The player is disqualified for a serious breach of the Rules. d. The player incurs no penalty.

8. Stakes and lines defining the margins of water hazards are in the hazards. True or false?

9. In match play, a player lifts his ball. Then, he accidentally drops it, striking and moving his opponent's ball. What is the ruling? a. The player is not penalized and both balls must be replaced. b. The player incurs a penalty stroke and both balls must be replaced. c. The player loses the hole.

10. In stroke play, a player's caddie practices on the competition course before play on the day that competition is scheduled to begin. What is the ruling? a. There is no penalty. b. There is a two stroke penalty. c. There is a disqualification penalty.

Answers to Week 3 questions:

1. He proceeded correctly and he is entitled to relief from the bench. Decision 24-2b/9

2. A player may break off a piece of a large loose impediment. Decision 23-1/4

3. There is no penalty. Decision 18-1/8 The player is not deemed to have caused the other ball to move. And the other player must replace his ball.

4. True Definition of "Lost Ball".

5. If he can identify his ball, it may be deemed unplayable. Decision 27/14

6. The Committee should correct the error; the competitor incurs no penalty. Rule 6-6d which states...The competitor is responsible for the correctness of the score recorded for each hole on his scorecard. If he returns a score for any hole lower than actually taken, he is disqualified. If he returns a score for any hole higher than actually taken, the score as returned stands. Note 1 : The Committee is responsible for the addition of scores and application of the handicap recorded on the score card.

7. A incurs a two-stroke penalty. Decision 13-2/25 The player was in breach of Rule 13-2 the moment he moved the stake and there was nothing he could do to avoid the penalty. The replacement of the stake before his next stroke was irrelevant.

8. True Definition of "Water Hazard".

9. The player incurs a penalty stroke and both balls must be replaced. Rule 18-3b ... which states...If, other than during search for a player's ball, an opponent , his caddie or his equipment moves the ball, touches it purposely or causes it to move, except as otherwise provided in the Rules, the opponent incurs a penalty of one stroke. If the ball is moved, it must be replaced.

10. There is no penalty. Decision 7-1b/5 ... which states that a competitor is responsible for the actions of his caddie only during the stipulated round. The Decision further quotes Rule 6-1 which states that the player and his caddie are responsible for knowing the rules. During a stipulated round, for any breach of a Rule by his caddie, the player incurs the applicable penalty.

Week 4 questions:

1. Ground under repair includes material piled for removal whether the material is marked or not. True or false?

2. In match play, a player holes a putt and, incorrectly thinking he has won the match, picks up the ball of his opponent. What is the ruling? a. He incurred no penalty and must replace the opponent's ball. b. He incurred a penalty stroke for picking up the opponent's ball. c. He has conceded the hole by picking up the opponent's ball.

3. A ball is lost when it is declared lost by the player. True or false ?

4. A ball behaves erratically in flight after being struck from the tee. Before his next stroke, may a player declare it unfit and substitute another ball without penalty? a. Yes, but he may not use the ball at a subsequent hole. b. Yes, but only if his marker agrees that the ball is unfit for play. c. No, a ball is unfit only if it is visibly cut, cracked or out of shape.

5. Soft, mushy earth is casual water whether or not water is visible. True or false ?

6. In stroke play, A asked B, a fellow-competitor, how far his (A's) ball was from the middle of the putting green. B informed him he (A) was 157 yards to the middle of the green. What is the ruling? a. No penalty to either player. b. Both A and B incur a one-stroke penalty. c. Both A and B incur a two-stroke penalty. d. Both A and B are disqualified for agreeing to waive the Rules. e. The Committee must decide, as this is not covered by the Rules.

7. If a player's ball lies in a bunker, he may not lift it to determine if it is unfit for play without penalty. True or false ?

8. In stroke play, if a player returns a score for a hole higher than he has taken, he shall be disqualified. True or false ?

9. Two players play in a match play event, while at the same time one of the players concurrently competes in a stroke play competition. What is the ruling? a. The result of the match should stand but the score returned in the stroke play competition is unacceptable. b. Both the result of the match and the score returned in the stroke play competition are acceptable. c. Both the result of the match and the score returned in the stroke play competition were not acceptable.

10. A player may play a provisional ball even if his ball may have come to rest in a water hazard provided that there is a reasonable possibility it is out of bounds. True or false ?

Answers to Week 4 questions:

1. True Definition of "Ground Under Repair" which states “Ground under repair includes material piled for removal and a hole made by a greenkeeper, even if not so marked. Grass cuttings and other material left on the course that have been abandoned and are not intended to be removed are not ground under repair unless so marked.”

2. He incurred a penalty stroke for picking up the opponent's ball. Rule 18-3b which states “If, other than during a search for a player's ball, an opponent, his caddie or his equipment moves the ball, touches it purposely or causes it to move, except as otherwise provided in the Rules, the opponent incurs a penalty of one stroke. If the ball is moved, it must be replaced.”

3. False Definition of "Lost Ball".

4. No A ball is unfit only if it is visibly cut, cracked or out of shape. Decision 5-3/1

5. False Decision 25/1 which states “Soft, mushy earth is not casual water unless water is visible on the surface before or after the player takes his stance.”

6. No penalty to either player. Decision 8-1/2 which states “Information regarding the distance between two objects is public information and not advice.

7. False Rule 5-3 which states “ If a player has reason to believe his ball has become unfit for play during the play of the hole being played, he may lift the ball, without penalty, to determine whether it is unfit.” Rule 20-3/b (iii) further states “in a bunker, the original lie must be re-created as nearly as possible and the ball must be placed in that lie.”

8. False Rule 6-6d which states ”The competitor is responsible for the correctness of the score recorded for each hole on his scorecard. If he returns a score for any hole lower than actually taken, he is disqualified. If he returns a score for any hole higher than actually taken, the score as returned stands.”

9. Both the result of the match and the score returned in the stroke play competition were not acceptable. Rule 33-1 which states “Certain specific rules governing stroke play are so substantially different from those governing match play that combining the two forms of play is not practicable and is not permitted. The result of a match played in these circumstances is null and void and, in stroke play competition, the competitors are disqualified.”

10. True Decision 27-2a/2.2 which states “Even though the original ball may be in a water hazard, the player is entitled to play a provisional ball if the original ball might also be lost outside the water hazard or out of bounds. In such a case, if the original ball is found in the water hazard, the provisional ball must be abandoned.” These are the final five Rules questions for the 2011 golf season. Please contact me at dagormley@sympatico.ca with any suggestions you have for improving the site next year.

Week 5 questions:

1. In match play, two players agree in advance to concede all putts within 12 inches. Is this permitted by the Rules? Yes or No

2. As A was making his backswing, B accidently dropped a ball which rolled to within one foot of A's ball. The sudden appearance of the dropped ball startled A, causing him to badly mishit his shot. In equity and fairness, should A be permitted to replay his shot? Yes or No

3. During a competitive round, a player runs out of balls. May the player borrow one or more balls from another player? Yes or No

4. On the putting green A is preparing to putt. He requests B to attend the flagstick and B refuses to do so. Within the Rules, is B obligated to attend the flagstick? Yes or No

5. In stroke play, A's ball at rest on the putting green was moved by a strong gust of wind. A replaced his ball and putted. What is the ruling? a. He proceeded correctly and there is no penalty. b. He is penalized one stroke. c. He is penalized two strokes. d. He is disqualified.

Answers to Week 5 questions:

1. No. The players agreed to exclude Rule 1-1 and should be disqualified under Rule 1-3. Under Rule 2-4, the only stroke which may be conceded is the “next stroke” and it cannot be conceded in advance. Decision 1/3/2

2. No. Distractions are a common occurrence which players must accept. Decision 1/4-1

3. Yes. Rule 4-4a prohibits a player from borrowing a club from another player playing on the course but the Rules do not prohibit a player from borrowing other items of equipment (balls, towels, tees, etc,) from another player or an outside agency. Decision 5-1/5

4. No. Decision 17-1/2

5. A's ball was moved by a gust of wind and wind is not an outside agency. A should have played the ball where it came to rest after being moved by the wind. By replacing the ball and playing it from where it originally lay, A incurred a one stroke penalty under Rule 18-2a for causing his ball to move. Since A did not replace his ball on the spot where it came to rest after being moved by the wind, he incurred a total penalty of two strokes under the penalty statement of Rule 18 which states “PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE: Match play " Loss of hole; Stroke play " Two strokes. ‘If a player who is required to replace a ball fails to do so, he incurs the general penalty for breach of Rule 18 but there is no additional penalty under this Rule'”. Decision 18-2a/7