Referee Challenge 2

So, its a strokeplay competition and we have a ball in the battery compartment of a trolley which is on an artificially surfaced path and then the wind blows the trolley and the ball to a new position.

What rules apply and how should the player proceed?

2 thoughts on “Referee Challenge 2

  1. Hi Stuart – Good One.

    I9.6/1 – The trolley is an outside influence moved by wind, therefore I believe that R9.6 (ball moved by outside influence) applies. I do not believe that R9.3 (ball moved by natural forces) applies in this case.

    R9.6 – Assuming R9.6 applies it requires us to REPLACE the ball at its estimated position but we have the added complication of the trolley, so I guess we should really move the trolley back, replace the ball in the battery compartment and then follow R15.2a. Do we really have to do this or can we just estimate the position and then do the drop under 15.2a? What would we do it the trolley had been blown into a river? I think we could skip the replacing in the battery compartment and carry on as below, but I may be being lazy!

    15.2a(2) – A reference point should be established underneath the point at which the ball was originally at rest in the battery compartment of the trolley. The original or a substituted ball must then be dropped in a 1 club-length relief area based on this reference point in accordance with R14.3. If the ball bounces down the path and does not stay in the area the player must use the procedures in R14.3c (two drops and then place) and R14.2e (place at in nearest place where the ball will remain at rest if necessary).

    R16.1 – Once the ball is back in play relief may be taken from the path under R16.1

    Spookily, I had a v similar situation (but without the added complication of the wind) in the 2017 Carris Trophy at West Sussex.

    A tee shot from the par 3 12th had landed in the ball pocket of a trolley near the 13th tee.

    Like you, it was my first EG event and I was nervous. I was called on the radio to go to the hole. The spot under the trolley was duly marked and I was just about to go through the dropping procedure when, at the last second, I remembered to ask the owner of the trolley if the trolley had been moved since the ball landed in it. The answer was “Yes, it was over there [about 15 yards away], I moved to get it out of the way!” In this case I actually asked for the trolley to be returned and ball to be replaced and then went through the procedure, but I subsequently wondered if I really needed to do this. It certainly irritated the player who owned the trolley as he just wanted to get on with playing the 13th hole! Grateful for thoughts on this aspect.

    All the best,


    1. Hi Matt

      From your trolley experience I think the best way to deal with it is to move the trolley, still containing the ball, back to its original position and then mark the spot under the ball. However you could argue that now there is a large relief area (before 2019 you would be trying to drop on that spot) it is perhaps not so important to be precise, especially if there is the likelihood of further relief being taken after the initial procedure. Would the player gain an advantage from the estimated position? I also suspect that most golfers would question why you need to drop it on the path in the first place when you “know” you will then be taking relief from it. I would also point out that the choice of exactly where to take this first drop will change the reference point and relief area when taking relief from the path – a bad choice might leave you dropping in thick rough while a good choice might let you drop on the fairway.

      I have to admit that I got this wrong on the day as I interpreted the ball to have been moved by the wind as a natural force rather than the trolley as an outside agency so I didn’t get the trolley moved back. Thankfully there wasn’t any real advantage or disadvantage to the player involved.




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