Monday, July 17, 2017
Ask Linda #1574-Repair divot after whiff
Thank you for your wonderful blog. Couldn't find an answer to the following question on your blog or the Internet. Would appreciate a little of your help.
Trying to pitch my ball on a very difficult stance, I've swung and missed the ball, digging a small divot partially out of the rough. The ball didn't even move, but the divot was now half out, just in front of the ball (now interfering with the line of hit). My golf mates told me that I'm now allowed to put/press/step the divot back down before the next shot, because "I should repair my own divots after a shot.” But in my opinion Rule 13-2 applies, and I'm not allowed to change/alter the "new" lie. What is the correct procedure? Thank you very much for your blog and help.
Lou from Bergisch Gladbach (near Cologne), Germany
Your understanding is correct. Rule 13-2 prohibits improving your lie or the area of your intended swing prior to the shot. If you were to replace the divot before hitting your ball, the penalty would be loss of hole (match play) or two strokes (stroke play).
Repairing the divot is good golf etiquette, but you must delay that repair until your ball is out of the area.
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