Thursday, July 27, 2017
I received several questions this past week from Lou’s and Lulu’s wanting to know how to decide whether a ball lies out of bounds. Those questions have prompted me to explain how to decide where a ball lies under a number of different circumstances. Look for a Rules Nugget on this topic in the very near future.
This is not the usual question about those white posts…
My ball was in-bounds. My stance to play it put my ankle against –without moving– a white out of bounds post. My fellow competitor called a penalty before I played the shot saying I was not permitted to touch any such boundary marker. The argument was that it was not part of the course. I said you may play an in-bounds ball with feet outside the OB line. I guess the same question arises if one was to play an in-bounds ball with one’s back against a boundary stone wall that was also marked OB. I can find no specific rule. Can you help?
Love your clear answers to rules questions!
Lou from the UK
While you are not permitted to remove an out-of-bounds stake, nothing in the Rules prohibits you from touching the stake in fairly taking your stance to hit your ball. You may also touch a boundary wall or fence, a tree, a shed, etc., while making your stroke. If these objects are in your way, you may do anything reasonable to fairly take your stance. If you happen to move the object when you touch it, we need to take a look at Rule 13-2.
While Rule 13-2 states that a player may not move, bend, or break anything growing (e.g., a branch) or fixed (e.g., an out-of-bounds stake) to improve his lie, area of intended stance or swing, or line of play, it makes an exception if this happens while the player is trying to fairly take his stance. Please read Decision 13-2/1, which explains precisely what is meant in the Rules by “fairly” taking your stance. Here is a link to that Decision:
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