The Practice Area: Introduction to Ball in Motion
As you and all golfers know, despite our well-intended preparation, anything can and will happen once that little white ball is in motion. This concept, “Ball in Motion,” and all that can happen during its journey, is the focus of this round of the USGA’s Short Course on the Rules of Golf.
There are a couple important points that underpin Rule 11 (Ball in Motion Accidentally Hits Person, Animal or Object, Deliberate Actions to Affect Ball in Motion). Understanding and recognizing these points will strengthen your ability to properly apply this Rule.
We’ll start by noting a pattern you can find throughout the Rules – accidental acts are treated very differently than those that are deliberate. Let’s then start by looking at the differences in Rule 11 between accidental and deliberate deflections.
Generally, when an accidental deflection happens, there’s no penalty and you play your ball as it lies. This was previously defined as a “rub of the green,” which has for decades been synonymous with bad luck by golfers. In reality, the definition didn’t speak to luck at all, rather it meant there had been an accidental deflection by something that was outside of your control. We’ve all experienced our fair share of accidental deflections, including the “lucky” good bounces as well as the “unlucky” bad ones. In golf, you are left to accept and overcome whichever version comes your way. As for “rub of the green,” the Rules no longer have this definition, and what some call a term of art, in part because it was rarely used correctly anyway.
Deliberate actions in Rule 11 are very different. Let’s start with the generalization that someone will almost always get a penalty, further when a deliberate action does breach Rule 11, the ball cannot be played as it lies – something of a rare occurrence in the game of golf.
In this round of the Short Course, many questions test your ability to differentiate between these two different outcomes and procedures.
The second point ties into the deliberate actions noted above and also serves as a foundational principle of how the game is played. That is, once you set your ball into motion with a stroke, you can expect for your ball to take its natural path, without you or anyone else taking deliberate actions to alter that path.
Another way to think about this principle is to compare golf to the sport of curling … golf is not like curling (except, perhaps for the many colorful outfits). In curling, players will enthusiastically work to deliberately affect where the stone will come to rest. In golf, most deliberate actions taken to affect where your ball in motion might go or come to rest result in a breach of the Rules. So the Rules serve to protect this principle by prohibiting most objects from being deliberately moved out of the way of your ball in motion and also serve to prohibit you or anyone else from taking an action to deliberately deflect or stop a moving ball.
一般来说，当一个球意外的变向发生时，你不会受到处罚，你在球静止的位置击球即可。以前这被定义为“rub of the green”，几十年来，这一直是高尔夫球手倒霉的代名词。实际上，这个定义根本就和运气没有关系，它的意思是由于你无法控制的某个事物造成了意外的变向，正如我们都机会均等地经历过“幸运”和“不幸”的两种着地。在高尔夫中，无论你面临的是什么形式的意外变向，你唯有接受和克服。至于rub of the green，规则中不再有这个定义。也有人称之为艺术术语，部分原因是无论如何它都很少被正确使用过。
Rub of the green
Rub of the green 与 Ball in motion deliberately deflected by person，2016版中文规则的翻译相应是“球被意外变向” 和“球被人故意变向”，英文的区别这么大但中文的区别这么小，为什么？因为 rub of the green 基本上无法直译，它字面上根本就没有球、变向这些元素，但长久以来它是规则中的一个定义，定义一种完全与字面意思无关的状况。它的字面意思大概是“擦过果岭”或“与果岭擦肩而过”之类，所以中文就摒弃了一切翻译的努力，直接说出确切意思算了。
Question: True or False: You may move another player’s golf bag so that a ball in motion will not hit it.
CORRECT ANSWER: A
With those two main points fresh in your mind, let’s make our way to the first tee. How many times have you seen this exact situation happen during a round? The natural reaction for most golfers is to move that bag (player equipment) out of the way as a ball races towards it, which is what the Rules allow. That is, the equipment of any player may be moved while your ball is in motion, even if done deliberately to affect where your ball might go.
Hopefully, this puts up a red flag because this directly contradicts the principle you just read above – let the ball take its natural path. This “exception” to that principle is present for two basic reasons. The first is that it’s the natural reaction for most and prohibiting this would create a number of undesirable penalties. The second is that navigating player equipment as you play is not part of the challenge of playing the game – players bring all kinds of things out on the course and it all gets moved around constantly. Therefore, via an Exception to Rule 11.3, all player equipment can be moved while a ball is in motion, and for any reason.
希望这里能引起大家的注意，因为这直接违背了你刚刚在上面读到的原则—让球走它的自然路线。这个原则的 “例外 “之所以存在，有两个基本原因: 第一，这是大多数人的自然反应，禁止这样做会造成一些不如人意的处罚。第二，在比赛中移动装备并不是这个比赛要挑战的元素——球员会带各种东西到球场上，并且它们会被不停地移动。因此，通过规则11.3的例外，所有球员装备都可以在球运动时以任何理由被移动。
Question: You slice your tee shot into the trees and in trying to play back out to the fairway, your second shot hits a tree, bounces back and hits your body after being unable to move out of the way. The ball comes to rest in the rough. What is the ruling?
(a) There is no penalty and you must play the ball as it lies.
(b) There is no penalty, but your stroke does not count and must be replayed.
(c) You get one penalty stroke and must play the ball as it lies.
CORRECT ANSWER: A
Hole 2 focuses on accidental deflections, and in this question, there are two. As was pointed out above, almost all accidental deflections result in no penalty and the ball is played as it lies. Not many would think twice about a ball hitting a tree (defined as an outside influence), but that’s Rule 11.1 at work. There’s no penalty and you play the ball as it lies. Now, if you missed this question, was it because you thought there is a penalty for the ball also accidentally deflecting off of you? This is an outcome that has changed over time. Currently, just like with the tree, because the deflection is accidental, there’s no penalty and you would still play the ball where it came to rest.
That said, when your stroke results in your ball accidentally hitting you, the outcome is typically punishment enough and the Rules no longer see a need to contribute.
Question: True or False: If you place your foot in a position to stop another player’s ball from rolling off the front of the putting green, you are penalized whether or not the ball hits your foot.
CORRECT ANSWER: B
Here we get our first look at deliberate deflections. Rule 11.2 covers deliberate deflections and it is helpful to remember in this Rule that simply taking a deliberate action does not always result in a penalty. It’s only when you are successful in deflecting or stopping your ball or any other ball in motion that you breach the Rule. Because of that, many will refer to Rule 11.2 as an outcome-based Rule in that to make a correct ruling, you need to know both what the player was trying to do, and whether it was successful.
It follows then that if you attempt to deliberately deflect your ball in motion, but are unsuccessful, you do not get a penalty. While many Rules can be breached simply by taking a deliberate action (we’ll see this in Rule 11.3), this Rule doesn’t use that same standard because it is easy to differentiate between actions that affect where your ball in motion comes to rest and those that don’t.
Another way that might help you commit this nuance to memory is to compare how similar it is to try to stop your ball in motion from rolling into a penalty area and having it bounce right over your foot, untouched and into the water versus how effective you are by pleading for a thinned wedge to “SIT DOWN” as it skitters over the green.
Question: You play your ball from the putting green, and the ball in motion accidentally hits a towel dropped on the putting green by the caddie of another player. What is the ruling?
(a) There is no penalty to anyone, and the ball is played as it lies.
(b) There is no penalty to anyone. Your stroke does not count, and the original ball or another ball must be replaced on its original spot.
(c) There is no penalty to anyone. You have the option to play the ball as it lies or replay the stroke.
(d) The player whose caddie dropped the towel gets the general penalty since the ball hit the towel. Your stroke does not count, and the original ball or another ball must be replaced on its original spot.
CORRECT ANSWER: B
We’re back to Rule 11.1 and accidental acts, but here we’ll take a look at one of the Exceptions to Rule 11.1b. First, remember Rule 11.1 applies to accidental deflections only. Rule 11.1a tells you if there is a penalty and Rule 11.1b is specific to where the ball must be played from following an accidental deflection.
As with nearly all accidental deflections, Rule 11.1a tells you there’s no penalty to anyone. Now onto Rule 11.1b to figure out where to play the next stroke from. In almost all cases, your ball will be played as it lies, but that’s not the case here.
The towel you hit is player equipment, but it is also a movable obstruction. Yes, that’s right, there are many times when multiple Definitions will apply to any given situation, as is the case here. When you recognize this, while it might appear to present a challenge, it will be helpful to remember that this is not a rare occurrence. Further, there’s a very high correlation to one’s understanding of the Definitions and one’s understanding of the Rules.
Because Exception 2 to Rule 11.1b addresses movable obstructions, which the towel is, the stroke does not count and either the original ball or another ball must be replaced on the original spot and played again from there, without penalty.
While this also contradicts what is generally true for accidental deflections (normally there is no penalty and you play the ball as it lies), this also highlights another pattern in the Rules – when things happen on the putting green, they are often treated differently because the putting green is considered to be a special place.
你碰到的毛巾是球员装备，但它同时是一个可移动妨碍物。是的，正是这样，有很多时候，在一个特定的情况下会有多个定义适用，这里就是如此。当你意识到这一点时貌似质疑也随之出现，但记住以下这句将对你有莫大的帮助：这不是什么稀罕事。再进一步来说，一个人对 “定义 “的理解会影响到对 “规则 “的理解，两者之间存在着很高的关联性。
Question: True or False: If your ball played from the putting green is deflected by a leaf being blown by the wind, the stroke does not count.
CORRECT ANSWER: B
An age-old favorite here! Every autumn as the leaves begin to fall, the Rules team will field inquiries from dozens of golfers about perfect putts destined for the hole, only to have a leaf mercilessly knock their ball off its perfect line.
A careful reading of the Rules will pick up both what is written and also what is not. While you might look to Exception 2 under Rule 11.1b for some relief, just like we saw on Hole 4, that’s not the case here.
A detached leaf is a loose impediment (as well as an outside influence) and neither of those objects are included in Exception 2. This means you just use Rule 11.1 – there’s no penalty and you’ll play your next stroke from where your ball came to rest.
Question: While a ball played from the putting green is in motion, which one of the following may not be moved to prevent the ball from hitting it?
(a) A ball at rest on the putting green
(b) A flagstick that has been removed and lies on the putting green
(c) A twig
CORRECT ANSWER: C
On Hole 6 we revisit the concept from Hole 1. There, you learned that while most objects need to be left in place while a ball is in motion, player equipment can be moved even when done to influence the movement of a ball.
The Exception to Rule 11.3 also includes a removed flagstick and a ball at rest on the putting green, but that’s it. Therefore, any other object that you lift or move while a ball is in motion to deliberately affect where that ball will go or come to rest will result in you getting the general penalty.
Question: When it is known or virtually certain that your ball in motion was deliberately stopped or deflected by a person, which one of the following is true?
(a) If your stroke was made from off the putting green, you may play the ball from the spot where it comes to rest.
(b) If your stroke was made from on the putting green, your stroke does not count and you must replace the original ball or another ball on its original spot.
(c) Regardless of where your stroke was made, you must estimate the spot where the ball would have come to rest and play a ball from that location.
CORRECT ANSWER: B
Hole 7 focuses on what happens following a deliberate deflection or stopping of a ball in motion. As referenced in the practice area, this is one of the rare times in the Rules that the ball cannot be played as it lies. In fact, a ball can never be played as it lies following a deliberate deflection or stopping of a ball in motion – and it’s unusual to be absolute when it comes to the Rules. With that in mind, it becomes a debate between options B and C. As the putting green is a special place, a stroke in this situation doesn’t count and must be replayed.
Question: While your ball is in motion after a stroke, another player, who is not aware that your ball was in motion, lifts a rake to rake the bunker from where the other player had just played. Your ball rolls through the area from where the rake was lifted. What is the ruling?
(a) Neither player gets a penalty.
(b) You get the general penalty.
(c)The player who lifted the rake gets the general penalty.
CORRECT ANSWER: A
On the surface, this question might appear to breach the principle of allowing a ball in motion to take its natural path. However, this principle only addresses deliberate actions that are taken to affect where a ball in motion might come to rest. Since this other player did not deliberately move the rake to affect where your ball would go (he was unaware you made a stroke), Rule 11.3 doesn’t apply. No penalty and play on.
Question: In stroke play, you hit your third shot into a par-5 green but it goes too far and over the green toward a red penalty area. Your caddie, who had walked ahead and was near the penalty area, intentionally stopped the ball before it could go into the penalty area. Seeing this happen, you estimate the spot where the ball would have come to rest in the penalty area. Based on that spot, you decide to take penalty area relief. After correctly dropping a ball, you hole out in two more strokes. What is your score for the hole?
CORRECT ANSWER: C
It’s your responsibility as the player in stroke play to get your individual hole scores right on your scorecard and here it would be a good idea to figure out your score before heading over to the back nine. Since there never seems to be a referee around to ask for help when you play the Short Course, it’s all up to you!
When your caddie intentionally stopped your ball from going into the penalty area, he breached Rule 11.2 and earned you a general penalty (two strokes in stroke play). Remembering that deliberate actions that breach the Rules never result in you playing the ball as it lies, you proceeded correctly by estimating where the ball would have come to rest. Because that was in the penalty area, penalty area relief under Rule 17.1d was available to you for one penalty stroke. That brings your total to three penalty strokes added onto your five talent strokes, for a grand total of eight.
Let your marker know a snowman is in order and, if you’re ready for the challenge of the back nine, let’s make the turn.