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Authorised flagstick attendant drops ball on opponent's ball

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Authorised flagstick attendant drops ball on opponent's ball

Postby 999Q » Thu Mar 24, 2016 6:28 pm

In match play, both players’ balls are on the green. Player A asks opponent B to attend the flagstick. B is holding the flagstick and his ball in the same hand when A putts. B accidentally drops his ball onto the green and it strikes A’s ball in motion.

Is this a simple R19-3 situation, or does the Exception, relating to R17-3b apply? In other words, should "carried" in the Exception be strictly interpreted in the present tense, so that once it had been dropped it is no longer being carried. This obviously results the most equitable ruling in the above circumstance, but is it the correct ruling?
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Re: Authorised flagstick attendant drops ball on opponent's

Postby ETP » Thu Mar 24, 2016 6:47 pm

I have been told by senior referees that if you let someone attend the flagstick for you, be sure to choose someone who is capable to hold his stuff. :D
This is especially true when playing a match. The player himself is responsible of the acts of the attending person and in this case the player looses the hole if there is no evidence that the opponent knowingly tried to distract the stroke.
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Re: Authorised flagstick attendant drops ball on opponent's

Postby Ron » Fri Mar 25, 2016 9:40 am

Barry,
Further to ETP's reply,

Note 1 attached to the Definition of Equipment states, " A ball played at the hole being played is equipment when it has been lifted and not put back into play".

Accordingly, player A loses the hole in breach of R17-3b.

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Re: Authorised flagstick attendant drops ball on opponent's

Postby 999Q » Fri Mar 25, 2016 10:01 am

Thanks Ron, that's the reference that I was forgetting.

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Re: Authorised flagstick attendant drops ball on opponent's

Postby 999Q » Fri Mar 25, 2016 10:36 pm

On reviewing this question again, I still have a doubt. R19-3 states;
If a player's ball is accidentally deflected or stopped by an opponent, his caddie or his equipment, there is no penalty. The player may, before another stroke is made by either side, cancel the stroke and play a ball, without penalty, as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played (Rule 20-5) or he may play the ball as it lies.
The Exception to R19-3 states;
Ball striking person attending or holding up flagstick or anything carried by him - see Rule 17-3b.
The opponent's ball is his equipment, but when it was accidentally dropped it was no longer being "carried" by him, so the player's ball in motion was deflected by an opponent's equipment, which in my opinion, means that it is Rule 19-3 that applies and not R17-3b.

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Re: Authorised flagstick attendant drops ball on opponent's

Postby Ron » Sat Mar 26, 2016 4:42 pm

Barry,

You may be correct. However, I take the view, and may well be consistent with that of the RB's thinking, Player B dropped his equipment (his ball in his hand) he was carrying, while attending the flagstick. Surely it must follow, if you or I drop something it implies we carried it as in the case at hand.

A view shared, it seems, by the "senior" referees in ETP's post.

It is worth noting it is an exception applying ONLY while attending the flagstick.
Does that help?

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Re: Authorised flagstick attendant drops ball on opponent's

Postby 999Q » Sat Mar 26, 2016 5:14 pm

I wonder if the "senior" referees in ETP's post were actualy commenting on the particular circumstances of this question, rather than on a ball that had been putted hitting the opponent, their equipment or the flagstick while they were attending it. In my opinion, the ball that was dropped by the flagstick attendant is not being "carried" by them, whereas it did deflect the ball in motion, as in Rule 19-3.

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Re: Authorised flagstick attendant drops ball on opponent's

Postby Ron » Sat Mar 26, 2016 6:07 pm

Barry,
Fair enough.
It is only my opinion/interpretation after all.

I have nothing further to add. It would, nevertheless, be interesting how others interpret your scenario.

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Re: Authorised flagstick attendant drops ball on opponent's

Postby Doug » Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:20 pm

Does an item that is being physically carried by a player and is equipment suddenly become not equipment when the player puts it on the ground?
Eg. A player takes a putter and a wedge to chip onto the green. He chips on and places his wedge on the ground, is no longer his equipment?
Does a player carry a buggy?
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Re: Authorised flagstick attendant drops ball on opponent's

Postby 999Q » Sat Mar 26, 2016 10:39 pm

Doug, I am not sure that it was your intention, but your example seems to support my argument. If a player lays down his wedge and his opponent's ball hits it, surely Rule 19-3 applies, whether he is attending the flagstick, or not. Taking the example a step further. If the player attending the flagstick marks their ball and sets it aside near the hole and the opponent's ball hits it, I presume that Rule 19-3 still applies, not Rule 17-3.

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Re: Authorised flagstick attendant drops ball on opponent's

Postby Doug » Sun Mar 27, 2016 8:30 am

IMO if the object is in the opponent's direct possession (ie can be considered to be part of him) 17-3b applies. If it is anywhere else (1m or 10m away) the rule does not distinguish by distance, the exception to 19-3b does not apply.
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Re: Authorised flagstick attendant drops ball on opponent's

Postby regole » Sun Mar 27, 2016 1:26 pm

999Q wrote:Is this a simple R19-3 situation, or does the Exception, relating to R17-3b apply?


Is my personal opinion but I think there is no question of interpretation, it is a simple R19-3 situation and not by 17-3b.
The A's ball does not hit B's equipment as understood in Rule 17-3b, i.e. at rest, but after an accidental drops and so in motion.
If the drops was not accidental is B that loses the hole under Rule 1-2.

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Re: Authorised flagstick attendant drops ball on opponent's

Postby Ron » Sun Mar 27, 2016 3:39 pm

Barry and Regole,

I am as firmly convinced, in this instance, of the Exception Clause (R17-3b) attached to R19-3 applying to the contrary view of R19-3 applying expressed by both of you.

Not a problem .We are all entitled to our own view and hopefully further our understanding of the Rules.

That said, I would appreciate it if either of you would help me understand why the RB's saw fit to reference the exception i.e. R17-3b attached to R19-3, and how or when, in your opinions, it applies.

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Re: Authorised flagstick attendant drops ball on opponent's

Postby 999Q » Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:59 pm

Ron,

You will note that the exception in question is not restricted to R19-3, match play; the same exception applies in R19-1, R19-2 and R19-4. My guess is that the RBs did not want a situation where a caddie, fellow competitor, or spectator attending the flagstick could 'accidentally' leave their foot or club in the path of a wayward putt, so that the player could take their putt again.

My opinion, which has changed since I first posed the question, is based on a strictly literal interpretation of the two Rules concerned;
R19-3:If a player's ball is accidentally deflected or stopped by an opponent, his caddie or his equipment, there is no penalty. ....
The dropped ball, which was the opponent's equipment deflected the ball in motion.
Exception to Rule 19-3:Ball striking person attending or holding up flagstick or anything carried by him.
The ball was dropped by the flagstick attendant, therefore it was not carried by him.

I do not see any evidence supporting Doug's interpretation re "direct possession (ie can be considered to be part of him") , either in this Rule, or any other.

This is a summary of my opinions on the original and similar scenarios, where A is putting from on the putting green and B is an authorised attendant of the flagstick, in both stroke play and match play;
a) A's ball hits the flagstick - penalty R17-3.
b) A's ball hits B's club, which he is holding - penalty R 17-3
c) A's ball hits B's club lying close to the hole - no penalty R19-3
d) A's ball hits B's ball set aside close to the hole - no penalty R19-3
e) A's ball hits B's ball that he accidentally dropped as he removed the flagstick - no penalty R19-3

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Re: Authorised flagstick attendant drops ball on opponent's

Postby Doug » Sun Mar 27, 2016 7:32 pm

999Q wrote:I do not see any evidence supporting Doug's interpretation re "direct possession (ie can be considered to be part of him") , either in this Rule, or any other.
Barry


I was just trying to express 'carried' in a different way.

Other than that, I agree with a) through e)
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Re: Authorised flagstick attendant drops ball on opponent's

Postby Adrian Mackenzie » Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:48 pm

999Q wrote:Ron,

You will note that the exception in question is not restricted to R19-3, match play; the same exception applies in R19-1, R19-2 and R19-4. My guess is that the RBs did not want a situation where a caddie, fellow competitor, or spectator attending the flagstick could 'accidentally' leave their foot or club in the path of a wayward putt, so that the player could take their putt again.

My opinion, which has changed since I first posed the question, is based on a strictly literal interpretation of the two Rules concerned;
R19-3:If a player's ball is accidentally deflected or stopped by an opponent, his caddie or his equipment, there is no penalty. ....
The dropped ball, which was the opponent's equipment deflected the ball in motion.
Exception to Rule 19-3:Ball striking person attending or holding up flagstick or anything carried by him.
The ball was dropped by the flagstick attendant, therefore it was not carried by him.

Barry,

If the original post had stated that it was the player's caddie who attended the flagstick and the caddie accidentally dropped a ball which struck the player's ball how would you rule?

I do not see any evidence supporting Doug's interpretation re "direct possession (ie can be considered to be part of him") , either in this Rule, or any other.

This is a summary of my opinions on the original and similar scenarios, where A is putting from on the putting green and B is an authorised attendant of the flagstick, in both stroke play and match play;
a) A's ball hits the flagstick - penalty R17-3.
b) A's ball hits B's club, which he is holding - penalty R 17-3
c) A's ball hits B's club lying close to the hole - no penalty R19-3
d) A's ball hits B's ball set aside close to the hole - no penalty R19-3
e) A's ball hits B's ball that he accidentally dropped as he removed the flagstick - no penalty R19-3

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Re: Authorised flagstick attendant drops ball on opponent's

Postby 999Q » Mon Mar 28, 2016 11:18 am

Adrian asked;
If the original post had stated that it was the player's caddie who attended the flagstick and the caddie accidentally dropped a ball which struck the player's ball how would you rule?
Following the same literal interpretation that I have described above, I would rule that the player incurred a penalty of one stroke and the ball must be played from where it came to rest, as in R19-2.

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Re: Authorised flagstick attendant drops ball on opponent's

Postby Ron » Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:27 pm

Barry,
Thank you very much for taking the time presenting your well reasoned, persuasive reply .
I am, however, not persuaded to alter my position.

I think we all agree the ball held and dropped by the flagstick attendant, player B, is his equipment confirmed by Note 1 attached to the definition of Equipment.

As such is defined, in part as, “...anything used, worn, held or carried ...”

Thus, based solely on the definition, it seems logical and consistent with the Definition to me, if I hold or carry my ball (my equipment) ,something I used, as in the original post and accidentally drop it, as in the original post, while attending the flagstick, player A’s ball was deflected by my equipment i.e. “anything used...”. Hence, IMO, R17-3b is the applicable Rule.

I will, for the present, respectfully, have to agree to disagree with you.
Always interesting.

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Re: Authorised flagstick attendant drops ball on opponent's

Postby Adrian Mackenzie » Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:46 pm

999Q wrote:Adrian asked;
If the original post had stated that it was the player's caddie who attended the flagstick and the caddie accidentally dropped a ball which struck the player's ball how would you rule?
Following the same literal interpretation that I have described above, I would rule that the player incurred a penalty of one stroke and the ball must be played from where it came to rest, as in R19-2.

Barry


Barry,

As the fellow competitor is acting on behalf of the player I understand that the ruling should be a penalty under R 19-2.
However I am more in favour of a breach of R 17-3b.
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Re: Authorised flagstick attendant drops ball on opponent's

Postby 999Q » Mon Mar 28, 2016 2:03 pm

As opinions seem to be split on the correct ruling in this scenario it would be very useful to obtain an 'official ruling' from one of the RBs.

However, I will make one last point. If there is nothing in the Rules that definitively rules on this particular situation, surely the equitable ruling is not to penalise the player (two strokes or loss of hole) for the carelessness of the other player. And before anyone says it, I do realise that the penalty definitely does apply under Rule 17-3b if the putted ball hits the player, anything that they are 'holding' or their person!

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Re: Authorised flagstick attendant drops ball on opponent's

Postby Ron » Mon Mar 28, 2016 2:31 pm

Good idea Barry.
The only way to get a correct ruling.

And if I may be permitted one last point too, :) historically, prior to 1992, the rule stated, "..or equipment carried" subsequently changed to " anything carried..." in 1992 to the present.

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Re: Authorised flagstick attendant drops ball on opponent's

Postby 999Q » Mon Mar 28, 2016 2:43 pm

Ron,
What a shame that they did not change it to "carried or dropped"! :lol:
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Re: Authorised flagstick attendant drops ball on opponent's

Postby Adrian Mackenzie » Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:01 pm

999Q wrote:As opinions seem to be split on the correct ruling in this scenario it would be very useful to obtain an 'official ruling' from one of the RBs.

However, I will make one last point. If there is nothing in the Rules that definitively rules on this particular situation, surely the equitable ruling is not to penalise the player (two strokes or loss of hole) for the carelessness of the other player. And before anyone says it, I do realise that the penalty definitely does apply under Rule 17-3b if the putted ball hits the player, anything that they are 'holding' or their person!

Barry


Barry,

The carelessness of the other player would not have involved a breach if he had not been attending the flagstick. As he was I can see no way the player can avoid a penalty.
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Re: Authorised flagstick attendant drops ball on opponent's

Postby RJM » Mon Mar 28, 2016 10:36 pm

Decisions 17/9 and 18-2/17 may be of assistance. The knob on the flagstick that fell off was no longer part of the flagstick, while the towel the player dropped was still his equipment (which the definition of equipment confirms for the ball that was dropped by the flagstick attendant).
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Re: Authorised flagstick attendant drops ball on opponent's

Postby ETP » Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:18 am

RJM wrote:Decisions 17/9 and 18-2/17 may be of assistance. The knob on the flagstick that fell off was no longer part of the flagstick, while the towel the player dropped was still his equipment (which the definition of equipment confirms for the ball that was dropped by the flagstick attendant).


So what is the ruling in your opinion, by R19-3 or 17-3?
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Re: Authorised flagstick attendant drops ball on opponent's

Postby 999Q » Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:26 pm

RJM,

Isn't this like comparing apples with oranges? Rule 18-2, on which Decision 18-2/17 is based, deals with a player's equipment moved by the wind causing their own ball at rest to move, for which the penalty is one stroke and the ball must be replaced. In the original question, the circumstance is that a player attending a flagstick accidentally dropped their equipment causing an opponent's ball in motion to be deflected, which either requires the putt to be retaken without penalty, or a penalty of two strokes for the player making the putt.

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Re: Authorised flagstick attendant drops ball on opponent's

Postby dormie1360 » Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:24 pm

FYI I did talk to a RB yesterday concerning Barry's question. The person I spoke with wanted to discuss it on his end and get back to me. I'll let you know when I hear something.
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Re: Authorised flagstick attendant drops ball on opponent's

Postby dormie1360 » Thu Mar 31, 2016 5:15 pm

17-3b...."anything carried by him", includes anything dropped by him while attending the flagstick.
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Re: Authorised flagstick attendant drops ball on opponent's

Postby Ron » Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:36 pm

Thank you very much John,

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Re: Authorised flagstick attendant drops ball on opponent's

Postby Adrian Mackenzie » Fri Apr 01, 2016 12:32 am

dormie1360 wrote:17-3b...."anything carried by him", includes anything dropped by him while attending the flagstick.


Many thanks- always nice to get confirmation what the correct ruling is when the doubts is still fresh in the mind. clap
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