Can Somebody Give Me A Ruling On This One?


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , , , | Posted on Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Yesterday I shared that I took my new swing out for a test run. If you have been following this blog, you know that I have been working with my virtual swing coach Mike Southern on fixing my coming over the top swing(my loop, as I like to call it).

I was struggling with my driver, barely getting drives out to 215 yards on average. My other clubs were much improved but there was nothing with my driver. Mike said that he was not surprised that I had my struggles. He explained...

"The driver swing uses slightly different technique than any other club -- the ball is on a tee, it's placed more forward in your stance, and you swing more upward to hit it. That's just enough difference to confuse your muscles at this point."

So why do I need a ruling? When I got to the par 4, 16th hole(that's a picture of the hole from the tee box just below), I was a bit nervous. If you clicked on the link, you would have noticed that the drive calls for a carry over the water to get to the fairway. It is only about a 150 yard carry, but I was anything but confident.

I have had some great drives on this hole in the past. Sometimes for fun, we see if we can carry the green from the tee. It is about a 275 carry to get to the landing area in front of the green. I have come close but never made it. I was not even thinking about going for it today. Not the way I was swinging the driver.

My first drive took off like a bullet, but it was very low and went about 125 yards and into the water. I teed up again and did the exact same thing. Two balls in the water. What am I shooting now? I went back to the cart and pulled out my 22 degree hybrid. I only needed to drive it 150 yards. Should have done this in the first place. I hit a good drive just on the edge of the fairway and the rough down the left hand side.

I had about 135 to the pin, 115 to the front, and I mishit it and the ball went into the front bunker. Disappointed by my shot, I drove up to the green. As I was walking towards my ball, I looked back out to the fairway. I noticed two balls sitting there. Huh?

There was no one behind me. The closest group was about four holes back. I continued to look back at the tee box to see if anyone was there. No one. What is going on? I left my ball in the bunker and hopped in my cart and drove to the fairway.

When I got to the first ball I could not believe my eyes. It was my ball. I walked over to the second ball and again, it was my ball. I mark my ball with three dots so I know they were mine. But I saw the splash. Twice.

Apparently they had both skipped along the water and into the fairway. The sun was setting so I guess I could not see the end results because of the glare coming off the water. Insane!

I played what I believe to be my first ball(the first drive went a little further left so I played that ball). I hit a beautiful shot to within 15 feet. I missed the birdie putt and tapped in for par. Since there was no one behind me, I played the ball out of the bunker, and then two putted from there.

So...what's the ruling? Which score do I keep. Should I have recorded the score that I finished from the bunker, or do I keep the par because I did not finish the hole before finding my original ball. there some other ruling all mixed up in this mess of a hole.

Calling all golf rules gurus. This is a tough and unique situation. I wasn't really keeping a tally so it will not change my score. I would just like to know. Get your rule books out. Have a great round and always hit your target.

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Comments (3)

  1. September 14, 2010 at 8:08 PM
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  2. September 14, 2010 at 8:10 PM

    Just a guess...

    Since you didn't tell any of your imaginary playing partners that the second two balls were provisionals, I believe all three tee balls count. And unless you finished the hole with that last ball, I believe you are disqualified for playing the wrong ball and posting an incorrect score, and your imaginary partners will remind you of it every time you step up to that tee.

    This is why we have practice rounds. Multiple mulligans, anyone? ;-)

  3. September 14, 2010 at 8:43 PM

    Well it's good thing I was by myself then, although none of my buddies are going to believe me when I tell them what happened. I still barely believe it myself. I don't know how I didn't see the two balls on the way out to my 3rd.

    Lots of mulligans for me in the next few weeks.