In the last two weeks, there have been 3 events related to the rules of golf that deserve a little attention.
A) Ball lost in a tall palm tree (Patrick Reed)
B) Ball overhangs the hole (Grant Forrest)
C) Feet over animal holes (Xander Schauffele)
This week, I return to an incident involving Patrick Reed that took place in Dubai, an incident that raised a lot of comments when it happened.
The player sends his ball towards some palm trees and the ball does not fall on the ground. Arriving near the palm trees, the player managed to identify his ball about fifty feet from the ground in a large palm tree using binoculars.
If the player can identify the ball through binoculars, if it is his ball, he may declare it unplayable, drop a ball within 2 club-lengths of the point on the ground directly below the position of the ball in the tree. The player then takes 1 penalty stroke for an unplayable ball. If he could not identify the ball, he had to return to the tee and play Stroke and Distance for a lost ball.
What is the problem?
Some viewers, as well as commentators, argued that Reed’s ball just couldn’t be in that palm. It’s also true that Reed doesn’t have a very good reputation (rightly or wrongly?) and as soon as something happens to him, it’s hard to give him the benefit of the doubt.
The golf course where the tournament was held is played all year round by players who play for the most part with Titleist PRO V1 or PRO V1x. There were at least 6 Titleist balls in the tree. The other palms also had Titleist balls. Reed had marked his ball with a black line that ended in a small arrow. He confirmed that the ball in the tree had the black line.
The referee gave him the benefit of the doubt.
Next week: ball overhanging the hole