With a warm, watery sun at last emerging from icy windswept clouds and talk of the US Masters also helping to raise the temperature, you will need to brush up on your knowledge of the Rules.
So here’s a few questions to get you head-scratching and to test your mates in time for the new season.
Score a point for every correct answer (true or false). Reach 8-10 points and you’re a potential referee, entitled to hold court on any bar stool. Score four to seven and you are better than average; three or less and we wouldn’t ask you the time of day – let alone a ruling!.
True or false?
1. A player may automatically remove leaves from a bunker to identify his ball. True or false?
2.When your ball lies on a grass mound within a bunker you are not allowed to ground your club.
3. A player finds his ball in the rough after a three-minute search. After selecting a club, he returns to play the shot but can’t find the ball. His opponent tells him he has only two minutes, not another five, to find his ball.
4. A ball disappears into trees in which lies a water hazard. After an unsuccessful five minute search, the player is within his rights to assume the ball is in the water hazard and proceed accordingly.
5. When your ball comes to rest in an area marked ‘ground under repair’ (usually marked by blue stakes) you can play it as it lies.
6. You can move a water hazard stake (yellow) or lateral water hazard stake (red), if it interferes with your stance or swing, or intervenes on your line of play.
7. If you take relief from ground under repair you must re-drop, if after dropping under Rule 1-25, the ball rolls into such a position that you have to stand in the same area of GUR to play the ball.
8.You are always entitled to relief if your ball lies in grass cuttings.
9. You are deemed to have asked for advice if you ask your fellow competitor how far he reckons your ball is from the hole before you play your shot.
10. A ball can be out of bounds if it lies on the course side of a wire mesh boundary fence.
1. False. A player may search for a ball in a hazard but only needs to identify it as a ball before playing it. Only a specific local rule (see which applies on your course card) allows him to remove debris from around it.
2. False. This area is not part of the bunker.
3. True. A player has only a total of five minutes to find a lost ball, otherwise he must return to the point from where he hit the original or continue with any provisional ball he has previously put in play, in each case adding a penalty stroke.
4. False. There must be ‘reasonable evidence’ (seen or heard) that the ball is in the water, otherwise the player should proceed as if his ball were lost outside a hazard and return to the spot from where he hit the original shot, adding a penalty stroke.
5. True. Unless a local rule decrees otherwise.
6. True. These stakes are a moveable obstruction and therefore can be moved or removed. (White out of bounds stakes may not be removed as they are an integral part of the course).
7. True. When taking relief from GUR you must take full relief. Your stance in the GUR would still constitute interference.
8. False.You are entitled to relief, only if they are clearly piled for removal.
9. True. However, you are permitted to ask how far a permanent object (such as a tree) or a recognised (yardage or metre) marker is from the hole.
10. True. If the fence supports are on the course side of the mesh. The boundary is defined as the nearest inside points of the supports at ground level.
So you think you know the Rules