PRACTICE BEFORE OR BETWEEN ROUNDS IN STROKE PLAY
One Practice Stroke Played on Course Before Stroke-Play Round
Q.On the day of a stroke-play competition, a competitor, before starting his round, played one practice stroke from a forward tee at the first hole into an out-of-bounds area. What is the ruling?
A.The competitor infringed Rule 7-1b and was subject to disqualification. However, the Committee would be justified, in the circumstances, in modifying the penalty to two strokes under Rule 33-7. If the competitor played more than one such stroke, modification of the disqualification penalty would not be appropriate.
Waiving Penalty for Practice on Course
Q.A 36-hole stroke-play competition was scheduled over consecutive days. After completing his first round, a competitor who was a member of the club at which the event was being held played several more holes and thus was subject to disqualification under Rule 7-1b.
Would the Committee be justified in waiving or modifying the penalty?
Competitor Who Practices on Competition Course After Qualifying Round Subsequently Is in Play-Off on Same Day
Q.Having completed his play in a stroke-play qualifying round for a match-play event, a competitor practiced on the competition course after the last group in the competition had teed off. After the conclusion of play, the competitor was tied for the last qualifying place for the match-play event. Such a tie was to be decided by a hole-by-hole play-off, which was scheduled to be played immediately. Was the competitor subject to disqualification from the play-off under Rule 7-1b? If so, would the Committee have been justified in waiving the penalty under Rule 33-7?
A.The competitor was subject to disqualification. Waiving the penalty is not warranted in such circumstances.
Stroke Play Over 36 Holes on Two Courses; Player Completes First Round, Practices on Same Course and Is Later in Play-Off on That Course
Q.Stroke play to determine the qualifiers for match play was scheduled over 36 holes on consecutive days. Eighteen holes were to be played on the East Course and 18 on the North Course. Any play-off was to be held on the East Course.
Several competitors who played their first qualifying round on the East Course wanted to play more golf. They knew that they would be in breach of Rule 7-1b if they played the North Course, so they played the East Course again.
After the second qualifying round, one of the competitors was tied for the last qualifier's place. Should he be disqualified from the play-off on the East Course under Rule 7-1b?
Competitor's Caddie Practices on or Tests Putting Green Surfaces of the Course Before Stroke-Play Round
Q.In stroke play, a competitor's caddie practices on or tests the putting green surfaces of the course before the competitor tees off. Is the competitor disqualified under Rule 7-1b?
A.No. A competitor is responsible for the actions of his caddie only during a stipulated round (Rule 6-1).
Stroke Play Over 54 Holes on Consecutive Days; Second Round Canceled and Competitor Practices on Course Following Cancellation
Q.A 54-hole stroke-play competition was scheduled to be played on consecutive days. The second round was canceled when the course became unplayable, and the competition was reduced to 36 holes. A competitor practiced on the course on the day of the second round after that round was canceled. Was the competitor subject to disqualification for a breach of Rule 7-1b?
A.Yes, because the competition was scheduled to be played over consecutive days. It is irrelevant that at the time the competitor practiced the competition was no longer to be played over consecutive days.
However, the Committee may in such circumstances permit practice on the course between rounds – see Note under Rule 7-1b.
Competitor Practices Putting on 3rd Green After Finishing Hole During First Round of 36-Hole Stroke-Play Competition
Q.A 36-hole stroke-play competition was scheduled to be played on one day. During the first round a competitor, having holed out at the 3rd hole, plays a practice putt on the 3rd green. Is the competitor disqualified under Rule 7-1b for practicing on the course before his second round?
A.No. A competitor is entitled to do anything which the Rules permit him to do during a stipulated round. Rule 7-2 permits a player between the play of two holes to practice putting or chipping on or near the putting green of the hole last played, any practice putting green or the teeing ground of the next hole to be played in the round, provided such practice stroke is not played from a hazard and does not unduly delay play (Rule 6-7).
• 7-2/8 Competitor Practices Putting on 18th Green Immediately After Finishing First Round of Stroke-Play Competition Played Over Consecutive Days.
• 7-2/9 Competitor Practices Putting on 3rd Green of 9-Hole Course During 18-Hole Stroke-Play Competition.
Other Decisions related to Rule 7-1: See "Practice" in the Index
PRACTICE DURING ROUND
When Practice Between Holes Permitted
Q.When is play of a hole completed by a player so that he may practice as permitted in Rule 7-2?
Single When he has holed out, his next stroke has been conceded, or the hole has been conceded by either player.
Four-Ball When both he and his partner have holed out, their next strokes have been conceded, or either side has conceded the hole.
Individual When he has holed out.
Four-Ball When both he and his partner have holed out or picked up.
Bogey, Par and Stableford When he has holed out or picked up.
• 30/6 Player Plays Practice Putt After He and Partner Have Holed Out But Before Opponents Hole Out.
Continuing Play of Hole in Match Play After Result of Hole Decided
Q.In a match between A and B, A holes out for a 4. B has played four strokes and his ball lies in a bunker. Thus, the hole has been decided. If B plays from the bunker, would the stroke be considered a practice stroke?
A.No. Strokes played in continuing play of a hole, the result of which has been decided, are not practice strokes – see Rule 7-2.
Explanation of "Strokes Played in Continuing the Play of a Hole"
Q.Rule 7-2 states that strokes played in continuing the play of a hole, the result of which has been decided, are not practice strokes. What is meant by "continuing the play of a hole"?
A.This phrase covers situations in which a player plays the remainder of the hole with one ball in play. Its interpretation is not restricted to continuing the play of the hole in accordance with the Rules and includes, for example, situations where a player plays a ball from a spot close to where his original ball went out of bounds or in the area where it was lost.
Player Practices Putting Off Green While Waiting to Putt
Q.A player lifted his ball on the putting green and, while waiting for his opponent or a fellow-competitor to play, dropped his ball off the green and played a few practice putts. What is the penalty?
A.Under Rule 7-2 the player lost the hole in match play or incurred a penalty of two strokes in stroke play.
Hitting Plastic Ball Before Playing Ball in Play
Q.During play of a hole, a player plays a stroke with a plastic ball before playing his ball in play. Is he in breach of Rule 7-2?
• 14-3/10 Use of Training or Swing Aid During Round.
Hitting Practice Range Ball Back to Range
Q.During play of a hole, a player saw some balls from the adjoining practice range lying on the course and flicked one back to the range with his club. Is there a penalty under Rule 7-2?
A.In some circumstances the hitting of a practice range ball back towards the range during the play of a hole would be a breach of Rule 7-2, but the casual flicking of a range ball, apparently only for the purpose of tidying up the course, is not a breach.
Player Finds Ball and Hits It to Player Who Lost It
Q.As A was playing the 13th hole, X, who was playing the adjoining 14th, was searching for his ball on the 13th fairway. X could not find his ball and walked off down the 14th. A then found X's ball plugged in the 13th fairway and called to him. X requested that the ball be returned to him. As X was out of throwing range, A hit the ball to him with a short iron.
In doing so, should A be considered to have played a practice stroke in contravention of Rule 7-2?
A.No. Since A was acting out of courtesy, there is no penalty.
• 1-4/4 In Anger Player Strikes Ball Played by Player in Following Group.
Practice Swing Dislodges Concealed Ball
Q.A player makes a practice swing in the rough and dislodges a concealed ball. Is there any penalty?
A.No. Since the player had no intention of striking the concealed ball, his swing remained a practice swing and was not a stroke. Consequently, there is no question of his having played either a practice stroke (Rule 7-2) or a stroke with a wrong ball (Rule 15-3).
• 15/2 Player's Stroke at Own Ball Dislodges Concealed Ball.
• 18-2a/19 Ball Moved Accidentally by Practice Swing Prior to Tee Shot.
• 18-2a/20 Ball in Play Moved Accidentally by Practice Swing.
Competitor Practices Putting on 18th Green Immediately After Finishing First Round of Stroke-Play Competition Played Over Consecutive Days
Q.In a 72-hole stroke-play competition held over four consecutive days, a competitor, immediately after holing out at the 18th hole of the first round, plays a practice putt on the 18th green. Is the competitor disqualified under Rule 7-1b for practicing on the course between rounds?
A.No. Rule 7-2 permits practice putting or chipping on or near the putting green of the hole last played between the play of two holes. It follows that the same privilege applies immediately after completion of the last hole of the round, even though technically such practice would be between rounds, not during a round.
Rule 7-1b would apply if a competitor, after holing out at the 18th hole, left the course and later returned and played a practice putt on the 18th green.
Competitor Practices Putting on 3rd Green of 9-Hole Course During 18-Hole Stroke-Play Competition
Q.An 18-hole stroke-play competition is played on a 9-hole course. A competitor, having holed out at the 3rd hole, plays a practice putt on the 3rd green. Since the stipulated round requires that the competitor play the 3rd hole as the 12th hole later in the round, is the competitor penalized for practicing?
A.No. Rule 7-2 permits a player between the play of two holes to practice putting or chipping on or near the putting green of the hole last played.
Related Decision to 7-2/8 and 7-2/9:
• 7-1b/7 Competitor Practices Putting on 3rd Green After Finishing Hole During First Round of 36-Hole Stroke-Play Competition.
Match Discontinued by Agreement Cannot be Resumed Until Three Days Later; One Player Wishes to Play on Competition Course Prior to Resumption
Q.In accordance with the Exception under Rule 6-8a, a match is discontinued due to fading light. The players establish that the only mutually convenient time for play to be resumed, which will not delay the competition, is three days later.
They agree to resume play at that time, but one of them wishes to take part in another competition on the course the following day. What is the ruling?
A.Rule 7-2 does not contemplate such a case and as it is unreasonable to prohibit a player from playing on the competition course in such circumstances, in equity (Rule 1-4), either player may play on the course at any time prior to the resumption of play.
Match Discontinued by Agreement on 13th Tee Cannot be Resumed Until Following Day; May Players Play First Twelve Holes Prior to Resuming Match
Q.In accordance with the Exception under Rule 6-8a, a match is discontinued at the 13th tee due to fading light. The players agree to resume the match the following afternoon. However, the next day, it is not possible for the players to resume play on the competition course at the 13th tee, due to heavy play on the course.
The players wish to play the first twelve holes and resume the match at the 13th tee. What is the ruling?
A.Rule 7-2 does not contemplate such a case. In equity (Rule 1-4), the players may play the first twelve holes and resume the match at the 13th tee.
Play Suspended by Committee; Player Wishes to Practice After Resumption
Q.In a stroke-play competition, the Committee suspends play and schedules the resumption for 8:00 am on the following day. A player, whose group will be the third group to play from a particular tee, wishes to continue practicing on the designated practice area after play has been resumed at 8:00 am because his group will not be able to play at that time. What is the ruling?
A.When play is resumed at 8:00 am, the Exception to Rule 7-2 no longer applies. Accordingly, the player is restricted to practicing in accordance with Rule 7-2.
Other Decisions related to Rule 7-2: See "Practice" in the Index.