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Mental Interference by Another Ball

Q.In order for A to be entitled to have B's ball lifted because of interference, does B's ball have to be on or near A's line of play and thus in a position to interfere physically with A's ball? Or may A also have B's ball lifted if it is off his line of play but catches his eye and thus constitutes mental interference?

A.A player may, under Rule 22-2, have another ball lifted if the ball interferes either physically or mentally with his play.

Related Decision:

24-2a/1 Mental Interference by Obstruction.


Player Claims That Another Ball Lying 30 Yards Away Interferes with His Play

Q.B's ball is three feet from the green on a direct line to the hole with A's ball which is 30 yards from the green. May A require B to lift his ball, on the grounds that the ball interferes with his play?



Player Requests Another Player to Lift His Ball in Absence of Reasonable Possibility Ball Might Interfere or Assist

Q.A's ball is on the putting green. B's ball is 100 yards from the green. B requests A to lift his ball under Rule 22-2 as it might interfere with his (B's) play. This happens several times during the round. Is such procedure permissible?

A.Rule 22 is intended to cover situations where there is a reasonable possibility that one ball might assist or interfere with another ball. If the Rule is being abused, as in this case, the Committee would be justified in penalizing B for undue delay (Rule 6-7).

22/4 (Reserved)


Assisting Ball Lifted by Opponent Replaced on Request; Player's Ball Then Strikes Opponent's Ball and Opponent Lodges Claim

Q.In a match between A and B, A's ball is near the hole in a position to serve as a backstop for B's ball. A lifts his ball to clean it. B requests A to replace his ball before he (B) putts. A protests but B insists that, under the Rules, A must replace his ball immediately. A replaces his ball but disputes B's right to require him to do so and claims the hole. B putts and his ball strikes A's ball and stops very close to the hole. A replaces his ball and holes out for a 4. B then holes out for a 4. The match continues and the claim is later referred to the Committee. How should the Committee rule?

A.The hole stands as played. The Rules do not require A to replace his ball, but B was not in breach of the Rules by asking A to replace it – see Rule 22-1.


Competitor Requests That Ball in Position to Assist Him Not Be Lifted

Q.In stroke play, B's ball lies just off the putting green. A's ball lies near the hole in a position to serve as a backstop for B's ball. B requests A not to lift his ball. Is such a request proper?

A.No. If A and B agree not to lift a ball that might assist B, both players are disqualified under Rule 22-1.

Related Decisions:

2-4/8 Player Concedes Opponent's Next Stroke and Plays Before Opponent Has Opportunity to Lift Ball.

3-4/1 Competitor Not Given Opportunity to Lift Ball Assisting Fellow-Competitor.

20-1/11 Ball-Marker in Position to Assist Another Player (player asks it not be moved).

30-3f/11 Request to Lift Ball That Might Assist Partner Not Honored.


Ball Assisting Fellow-Competitor on Putting Green; Procedure for Referee If Competitor Does Not Lift Ball

Q.In stroke play, a competitor's ball is in a position to assist the play of a fellow-competitor and the competitor is in a position to lift the ball under Rule 22-1 without delaying the fellow-competitor's play. However, the competitor does not take any action to invoke the Rule. Would a referee be justified in intervening and requesting the competitor to invoke the Rule to protect himself and the rest of the field?

A.Yes. If the competitor were to object, there would be strong evidence of an agreement not to lift the ball for the purpose of assisting the fellow-competitor in breach of Rule 22-1. The referee would be justified in so advising the competitors involved and warning that failure to lift the ball would result in disqualification under Rule 22-1.

Other Decisions related to Rule 22: See "Ball Assisting or Interfering with Play" in the Index.



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