You’ve hit a poor shot and taken it out on the nearest object to hand. Are you getting a sanction for your fit of rage? Our Rules expert takes a look
Chucking a tantrum after a poor shot can cause some proper damage on the course. I’ve seen players take chunks out of greens, swish around like an unruly child in a bunker, and detonate a tee marker into a hundred different pieces.
Tee markers seem a semi-regular outlet for frustration on a course and there a curious clarification in the Rules of Golf that addresses when and how they are moved and what that’s going to do to your score card.
Did you know there is not an automatic penalty in the rules for hitting a tee marker in anger and causing it to move?
Check out Rule 6.2b (4)/1 – Tee-Marker Moved Without Improvement. It reveals that if a player causes a tee-marker to move, either by striking it in anger, tripping over it, or – and this is my personal favourite – “lifting it for no apparent reason”, there is no penalty if it does not improve the conditions affecting the stroke.
But there’s a big caveat on hitting golf tee markers in anger
That’s even “if the player does not replace it before playing from the teeing area”.
Don’t just start moving them, though, and put them back if you do so. You’ll get the general penalty if you don’t.
Now, before you all start smashing up markers in a fit of rage and thinking you can get away with it, there is a very large caveat in this clarification.
If you move the golf tee markers because you reckon they should be in a different place, or “deliberately” destroy them, your committee has the power to disqualify you for “serious conduct contrary to the spirit of the game” using Rule 1.2a.
You could also be disciplined under your club’s own Code of Conduct if it includes sanctions for damaging the course and equipment.
Got a question for our Rules of Golf expert?
Despite the simplification of the Rules of Golf at the beginning of 2019, there are still some that leave us scratching our heads. I’ll try to help by featuring the best of your queries in this column.
What do you think of these golf tee markers rules? What should the penalties be for damaging course equipment? Let me know with a tweet.
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