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Browse the 2012-2015 Rules


12-1/1 (Reserved)

12-1/2 (Reserved)


Top of Ball in Hazard Covered by Leaves But Part of Ball Visible from Another Angle

Q.The top of the player's ball in a hazard is covered by leaves so that it is not visible when he takes his stance However, a portion of the ball is visible from another angle. Is it permissible for the player to remove enough leaves to see the ball once he has taken his stance?

A.No. In these circumstances, a player is entitled to remove loose impediments covering a ball in a hazard only if the ball is not visible from any angle.


Player Touches Ground in Hazard When Searching for Ball Believed to Be Covered by Loose Impediments in Hazard

Q.A player's ball is believed to be in a bunker covered by leaves. The player probes for the ball with a club which touches the ground in the bunker. What is the ruling?

A.There is no penalty. Rule 12-1 permits a player to touch or move loose impediments in a hazard in order to find a ball. A player is also permitted to touch the ground in the hazard while probing in the loose impediments with a club for the purpose of finding the ball. Such permission overrides any prohibitions in Rule 13-4. (Revised)


Player Kicks Ball While Probing for It in Water in Water Hazard

Q.A player is probing for his ball in the water in a water hazard and accidentally kicks the ball which is in fact lying in long grass on the bank within the hazard. What is the ruling?

A.As the moved ball was not lying in water in a water hazard, the player incurs a penalty stroke under Rule 18-2a for moving his ball in play (see Rule 12-1c). The player may replace the ball and play it or, under an additional penalty of one stroke, proceed under Rule 26-1. If the player proceeds under Rule 26-1, he is not required to replace the ball.

Related Decision:

20-1/13 Ball Accidentally Kicked by Player Asked to Lift It Due to Interference.

Other Decisions related to Rule 12-1: See "Searching for and Identifying Ball" in the Index.



Identifying Ball by Brand, Model and Number Only

Q.In the area in which his ball presumably came to rest, a player finds a ball of the same brand, model and identification number as the ball he is playing. The player assumes it is his ball, even though it does not carry an identification mark as suggested in Rule 12-2, and plays it. Should the player be considered to have played a wrong ball?

A.No, unless (1) there is clear evidence that, because of the ball's condition, it is not the player's ball or (2) subsequently it is established that another ball of the same brand, model and identification number was lying in the area at the time the player played and either ball, from a condition standpoint, could be the player's ball.

Related Decisions:

27/10 Player Unable to Distinguish His Ball from Another Ball.

27/11 Provisional Ball Not Distinguishable from Original Ball.

27/12 Identification of Ball Through Testimony of Spectator.

27/13 Refusal to Identify Ball.


Touching and Rotating Half-Buried Ball in Rough for Identification Purposes

Q.A ball is half buried in the rough. Having announced his intention in advance to his opponent, marker or fellow-competitor, the player, for the purpose of identifying the ball, touches the ball and rotates it. By so doing he identifies the ball as his ball. Is there a penalty?

A.Yes, for touching the ball other than as provided for in the Rules (Rule 18-2a). Under Rules 12-2 and 20-1, a ball may be lifted (or touched and rotated) for identification purposes after its position has been marked. If the player had marked the position of the ball before rotating it, there would have been no penalty, assuming the rotating did not result in the ball being cleaned beyond the extent necessary to identify it.

Related Decisions:

18-2a/33 Rotating Ball on Putting Green Without Marking Position.

20-3a/2 Using Line on Ball for Alignment.

Other Decisions related to Rule 12-2: See "Searching for and Identifying Ball" in the Index.



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