Girls Golf - Rules & Regulations

Rules and Regulations

Returning an Incorrect Score (Rule 6-6d): Remember the incident involving Craig Stadler and the towel? In the third round of the PGA Tour’s San Diego tourna- ment in 1987, Stadler knelt on a towel to play a ball lying under a tree. Having no idea that such an act constituted building a stance (see Decision 13-3/2), Stadler did not include the required two penalty strokes for his score for that hole and therefore returned an incorrect score card for that round. When the Tour officials learned of his breach during the fourth round, they had no choice but to disqualify him for having returned a score for that hole lower than actually taken. In 2016 and beyond, a player in Stadler’s situation would be spared disqualification but would add the two penalty strokes he incurred for building a stance and two more penalty strokes (for a total of four) for not having included this penalty in his score for that hole. The new provision for scoring in stroke play provides that if a player returns a score card with a lower score than he made because he was unaware of a penalty he had incurred, he is no longer disqualified and instead incurs the penalty for the Rule he breached (in Stadler’s case, for building a stance) plus two more penalty strokes for returning that incorrect score. This more generous position is consistent with the longstanding provision of Rule 34-1b that saves a player from penalty after the close of competition if he had returned a score card with a hole score that was lower than actually taken because of a penalty he did not know he had incurred. 

As everyone except for those who have been stubbornly searching for their stray gutta percha balls for the past 120 years knows, effective Jan. 1, 2016, a player will no longer be allowed to anchor the club or gripping hand to his body or to use an “anchor point” during the stroke. It’s important to note that this change is a ban on a type of stroke and not on a type of club (i.e., a player may still use a long putter; he just can’t anchor during the stroke). 

Ball Moving After Address (Rule 18-2): In 2015, if a player’s ball moved after he addressed it (grounded his club), he was considered to have moved (and in- curred one penalty stroke and must replace the ball), unless it was clear that something else (e.g., wind) had caused the ball to move). Starting in 2016, there will be no automatic assumption that the player’s act of grounding the club near the ball caused the ball to move; referees will have to weigh all the facts and determine whether the player’s actions did in fact cause the ball to move. The result: fewer penalties for players and more tough judgment calls for referees. 

Local Rule for Use of Distance-Measuring Devices (Appendix IV): Starting in 2016, when the Local Rule allowing the use of a distance-measuring device is in effect, a player may use a distance-measuring device containing a function not allowed by the Local Rule (e.g., the ability to measure the gradient or temperature) provided he does not use that non-conforming function. Previously, the mere presence of that non-conforming function resulted in disqualification for the player. This change will open up the use of smartphones with distance-measuring apps. 

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Wisconsin Interscholastic
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