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Caddie deems ball Unplayable - Rules & Etiquette Wednesday #80.

Caddie deems ball Unplayable – Rules & Etiquette Wednesday #80.

Caddie deems ball Unplayable – Rules & Etiquette Wednesday #80.

Hi, I’m Mel Sole, Director of Instruction at the Mel Sole Golf School, headquartered at Pawleys Plantation Golf and Country Club in Pawleys Island, SC.  We conduct 1, 2, and 3-day golf schools, hourly golf lessons, and senior golf schools—any golf instruction program your heart desires. Give us a call at 800-624-4653 or 843-237-4993.  We will be happy to book a commuter school or a package that contains accommodations, golf, and golf school.

Golf Blog by the Mel Sole Golf School.

The Definition of Rule 28 says, “The player may deem his ball unplayable at any place on the course, except when the ball is in a water hazard.  The player is the sole judge as to whether the ball is unplayable.”


A situation happened on the European Tour recently where a player’s caddie arrived at the ball location before his player.  The caddie decided that the ball was definitely unplayable. He picked up the ball and presented it to the player when he arrived.  A marshall was standing nearby and immediately informed the player that he had been assessed a two-stroke penalty because his caddie picked up the ball.  As the player is the sole judge of whether the ball is playable or not, he violated Rule 28.

Obviously, the player was not very happy as this penalty had cost him winning the tournament.  The caddie was fired after the round.  So it is just as important for the caddie to know the rules on tour as the player.  I do remember Tom Kite going to a rules seminar put on by the USGA, and he paid for his caddie to come along as well.  I wish more Tour players (from any Tour) would do that.  It seems we have accidental rule violations far too often.

Recent players receiving a penalty that affected the outcome of a Major Championship.

Dustin Johnson – 2010 PGA Championship.  (He did receive a one-stroke penalty in the 2016 US Open, but it did not affect the outcome.)

Lexi Thompson – 2017 ANA Inspiration – 4 strokes for mismarking her ball. 


Source: Mel Sole Golf School.

Thanks for watching Caddie deems ball Unplayable – Rules & Etiquette Wednesday #80.

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