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Rules of Golf (5-30-2009)

Q | The other week I went to a Nationwide Tour event in the Upstate of South Carolina. They had the holes lined with green metal stakes and gallery ropes. A player's ball stopped underneath the rope so his caddie pulled up and set aside one of the stakes with the rope still connected at its top. When he pulled another stake from the ground, the connected rope made the first stake flip over and move the players ball. I never heard what the ruling was. Do you know?

_ Tom (Myrtle Beach)

A | Tom, while I'm not familiar with the exact situation you're recalling, the ruling sounds fairly simple.

Section a of Rule 24-1 Movable Obstruction states, ``A player may take relief, without penalty, from a movable obstruction as follows: If the ball does not lie in or on the obstruction, the obstruction may be removed. If the ball moves, it must be replaced, and there is no penalty, provided that the movement of the ball is directly attributable to the removal of the obstruction. Otherwise Rule 18-2a Ball at Rest Moved by Player, Partner, Caddie, or Equipment in General applies.''

Since the stakes and rope you mentioned were all connected, it would be logical if the Tournament Committee ruled that the movement of the ball was directly attributable to the removal of the movable obstruction. As a result, there was likely no penalty assigned to the player and the ball was to be replaced under Rules 18-2 and 24-1a.

Contact CORY ARMSTRONG , rules official for the Carolinas PGA, at or 843-399-2742.