NYSGA Rules Corner – Dubai Edition

Well here we are again, travelling to the far reaches of the Earth to have a bizaare Rules Infraction.  But unlike last month’s example, this one wasn’t at an exhibition, but the European Tour Finale, the Dubai World Championship.

Ian Poulter lost a chance at the Championship and an additional $400k when he accidentally dropped his ball on his ball marker while in the process of replacing his ball, causing the marker to move position.

According to Rule 20-1/15, ” accidental movement of the ball or the ball-marker which occurs before or after this specific act, such as dropping the ball or ball-marker, regardless of the height from which it was dropped, is not considered to be “directly attributable” and would result in the player incurring a penalty stroke.”

In my opinion, this Rules needs to be amended.  After all, Rule 20-1 states “If a ball or ball-marker is accidentally moved in the process of lifting the ball under a Rule or marking its position, the ball or ball-marker must be replaced. There is no penalty, provided the movement of the ball or ball-marker is directly attributable to the specific act of marking the position of or lifting the ball.”

So you don’t get a penalty for clumsiness when marking your ball, but you do when replacing it?  Seems a bit harsh to me…and I am not out $400,000!

4 thoughts on “NYSGA Rules Corner – Dubai Edition

  1. earl brydges

    the rules of golf sometimes get out of whack. are they reviewed periodically? this one is not only silly – it”s stupid. the key is to ensure that your ball is correctly placed on the green. within milli-inches, ian could do that and that’s the distance from correct that most balls are legally marked i would guess

  2. admin

    The Rules are reviewed yearly, with Decisions being revised every 2 years and the Rules themselves every 4. However, sometimes Decisions are immediately added if they are far from a Revision date. I would expect this one to be looked at for the 2011 Decision Book.

  3. Ralph Bush

    I agree that the rule should be amended to be equally fair while lifting and replacing your ball on the green. Once you have been allowed under the rules to lift and clean your ball you should be able to safely replace it to its original position, within common human error, without any form of penalty. In Ian’s case, if he had made his long distance Birdie putt this would have greatly increased the drama of the moment. To lose the ability to try for the glory simply deflated the magic of the moment.


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