PIN HI Summer 2013
PRESIDENT’S NOTES Welcome to the 2013 golfing season. Let’s hope it is a healthy and rewarding year for all of us. The extensive Clubhouse upgrade and extension has been finalised. If you have seen the completed project I am certain you will agree it is an outstanding success. The Board Committee responsible for the project was immediate Past President Kerry Wark, current Captain Ralph Heading and current Vice-President Andrew Corrigan. Ralph handled the many day to day issues which arose in his understated, very professional style, and the quality of the finished product is a tribute to him, the other project members, and the tradesmen who worked on the project. Financially, this year will be a period of consolidation for the Club as we rebuild our financial strength for our next venture. Last July the joint venturers returned the land east of the bridges to the Club. They also constructed a large drain on our eastern border and a large hole for future water storage, and paid the Club a sum of money. The Board has been considering all of the possibilities for that area of land open to the Club under the terms of the Perpetual Lease. In due course, but in this year, Members and Associates will be provided with the Board’s list of possible compliant uses of that land. Essentially, these options could be: ● A returning nine, possibly with a commercial driving range ● Six or nine holes, possibly with a commercial driving range
● Golf Academy or training facilities ● Other ideas
There is no specific time limit under the terms of the Perpetual Lease to recommission this land for golfing purposes. The terms of the Perpetual Lease are strict and any activity must be complementary to the purpose for which the lease was originally issued. Moreover, the land is critical to the future golfing needs of the Club as our current timeslots are very close to full on certain days, so the building and/or recommissioning of those holes is a project for the future. This year we have five new Board Members who are, in alphabetical order:
Andrew Corrigan, who returns to the Board as Vice-President Mark Williamson - Chairman of the House Committee Peter Stewart - Chairman of the Membership Committee Phil Dowling - Member of the Match and Greens Committee Wayne Davis - Treasurer
Andrew is a builder and engineer, as well as a Master of Wine. Mark has had extensive commercial experience as National General Manager Optus Mobile Network and has served on numerous Boards. Peter and Phil are both partners in prominent law firms and bring a wealth of commercial law experience to the Board. Wayne is a Chartered Accountant who has been in practice for many years, and was formerly Treasurer of the Queensland Club. Continuing Board Members are Vice-Captain Dr Suddy MacKechnie, Dr Ian Lynagh, a psychologist and a former Captain of the Club who continues to serve as Chairman of the Archives and Heritage Committee, Captain of the Club Ralph Heading, and myself. Finally, may I say that it is an inestimable privilege to be your President for the next twelve months.
Des Knight INSIDE THIS ISSUE: ● Captain’s Communiqué…P2 ● Forthcoming Events…P3 ● JDP…P4 ● Associates’ News…P5 ● Mixed Opening Gala Dinner…P6 ● Course Management Report…P9 ● Rules are Rules…P10
COMMUNIQUÉ FROM THE CAPTAIN Welcome th Welcome Members to 2013. It is an honour and privilege to be elected as the 50 Captain of Royal Queensland Golf Club. I look forward to doing my utmost to provide our Members and Visitors with an enjoyable RQ golf experience and a golfing calendar that has something for everyone. Having enjoyed a great apprenticeship under past Captains John Greenhalgh and Chris Cooper, the course is ever-improving. The new Match and Greens Committee made up of Vice-Captain Suddy MacKechnie, Board Member Phil Dowling, and myself, already has plenty of challenges ahead as we aim to keep the level of improvement continuing whilst striving to deliver the best possible course at all times over all conditions, with Golf Course Manager Marcus Price and his team. I would like to offer my congratulations to the recently elected Associates’ Committee for 2013 and am looking forward to working this year with experienced Associates’ Captain, Stephanie Cumming. What a difference a couple of years make when reviewing course conditions! Two years ago we were dealing with the aftermath of the floods and thinking they were a distant memory. At the time of writing my first draft we had received no significant rainfall since Closing Day 2012 and were starting to look to the horizon wondering when we might see some relief. However, we have learned to expect the unexpected. The difference between prospective drought conditions and drenching rains is never far away, as we saw with a great deal of the western section of the course submerged in flood waters. The sheer fact we were playing two days later and with carts is a testament to our dedicated team of ground staff, led by the very passionate Marcus Price, and the valuable infrastructure that we have invested in over the last couple of years. One of the most enjoyable parts as a member of the Match and Greens Committee has been the opportunity to learn from Marcus and his team’s experience and expertise, particularly in times as we have just seen. 2013 Golf Calendar The year ahead looks exciting and busy! Hopefully by now you have collected and read the 2013 Fixture Book. I urge you all to take the time to read it, as it can answer most day to day questions relating to the Club and our course. Noteworthy items are the earlier start to the Sir Leslie Wilson. Always a highly sought after trophy, this year it kicks th off early with the dinner on Friday 8 March and the first qualifying round the week following. The event will run for consecutive weeks thereafter, with the only break being the Easter weekend. Another change to note - the Brisbane District Golf Association has moved the Pennant Season to later in the year th commencing 4 August. September will see the cream of the country’s Seniors arriving at Royal Queensland to play the Australian Senior Amateur Championship. Club Championships will follow closely behind, commencing in the first half of October. The later half of the year will also see the introduction of Golf Australia’s long awaited Slope Index to courses around the country. th
During the off-season a couple of trees received significant damage due to storms, the first being a fig behind the 4 green. This tree has had one main branch removed and we are currently monitoring its progress; however it appears further stabilisation work will be necessary. The second storm-damaged tree was the Elephant Pod tree on the right hand side of 5, opposite the large fairway bunker. Unfortunately, this tree could not be saved due to extensive cracking which made it too unsafe to leave in place. This was a very rare species of tree and we have been unable to source a similar replacement. We are currently consulting with our arborist and course designer for a suitable replacement of similar significance.
New Works Our first project this year is the replacement of the ageing wash down facilities in our maintenance yard. The existing unit has approached its use by date and one of the current sheds will be converted to a three wide, drive-in, state of the art wash down facility. One of the benefits is quicker cleaning of machines as they will be able to be completed simultaneously rather than lining up one after the other. Another benefit is the collection of any contaminants, which will be broken down and able to then be used in our recycled water. Lastly, the cleaned water can be reused to wash the machinery, thus adding to the life/quality of our machinery by reducing corrosion. This project will commence in early February and take several weeks. In closing I would like wish everyone all the very best for the 2013 golfing season.
NOTES FROM THE GM 2013 has certainly started with a buzz around the Club, with plenty of interest in the refurbished and extended Clubhouse. Thank you for the feedback from Members. It has been pleasing to see Members sampling the new menus after golf and bringing down their partners, friends, and families for lunch. The Club will return to holding seminars and functions as per previously, now that the upgrade project and noise has concluded. A number of Members utilise the Clubhouse to host business seminars, meetings and lunches and I encourage those Members interested in doing so to contact our House Manager, Ken Brown firstname.lastname@example.org The total number of lockers was increased by over 30% from the original Locker Rooms and whilst numerous lockers remain available in the Ladies’ Locker Room, earlier this month the Gentlemen’s Locker Room reached capacity. Each Member with a locker had their key placed in their locker for collection. At the end of February these keys will be collected and be available from the Golf Service Centre. As a number of Members would like a locker and do not have one, if you have not been to the Club in the past two and a half months to collect your key and don’t think that you need a locker, please contact Steve or Liam in the Golf Service Centre. Members will now be invoiced for locker rental at the rate of 75% of the applicable fee. Over the past five to seven years the Club has, from time to time, had numerous places for Provisional Ordinary Membership available. Whilst the 2012/2013 subscriptions resulted in the lowest number of resignations in recent years, we do have just over 40 available positions for Provisional Ordinary Membership. Associate Membership has 50 available positions. With the course in outstanding condition and the newly upgraded Clubhouse facilities, I encourage Members to contact Administration Manager Marion Geddes if a family member or friend has expressed interest in joining. Best of luck on and off the course in 2013.
Andrew W Kirkman
WELCOME NEW MEMBERS Congratulations to 16 new Members who have joined RQ in recent months: Laurence Barnes Yannick Buchanan John Davison Jackson Dick Harold Du Toit Jacob Fitzpatrick John Hansen James Hume
James Keir Jason Knight Timothy McKendry Andrew McKie Daphne Ried Stephen Rider Jake Stanton Paris Woodhall
We hope you will enjoy the wonderful facilities available, and make many new friendships.
INTERESTING VISITORS The Club has experienced some interesting visitors in recent months, including: Ø
The amateur photographer dressed in jeans and T shirt who was found on a Saturday afternoon last October th walking through the middle of the course to set up his camera in the centre of the 6 fairway to take some pictures of the Gateway Bridge
The jellyfish found on a fairway after the river flooded some areas of the course last month
Ø A baby wallaby found one morning on the left side of the 15th fairway (it was taken to a local animal shelter)
Sir Leslie Wilson Cup Dinner – Friday 8 March Invitation Competition followed by Carvery Dinner – Sunday 17th March th ‘Feasting Friday’ featuring Andy Georges of Il Centro’s Famous Sandcrab Lasagne – Friday 5 April th US Masters Breakfast and Golf followed by Lunch – Monday 15 April th Mothers’ Day Brunch – Sunday 12 May
ADAM SCOTT RQ JUNIOR DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME As the new Co-Ordinator of the Junior Development Programme, I would like to thank Ralph Heading, and indeed John Greenhalgh before him, for putting in place a structure which makes it very easy for me to follow in their footsteps. th
Firstly, let me make reference to the JDP Championship Day held on Sunday 9 December. This was a very successful day, with 39 participants. The Best Nett Gold Boys winner was Ben Perkins. Best Nett Silver Boys was Nick Buntain, with Best Nett Silver Girls Annabelle Hooper. RQ Junior Open th The Royal Queensland Junior Open was held on 20 January. We had 20 girl entrants from as far away as Rockhampton, and indeed the winner of the nett trophy was Sarah Antcliff from Yeppoon (Nett 77), with Stacey White from Pacific Golf Club having the Best Gross score of 81. The Boysâ€™ section included competitors from Gladstone, Goondiwindi, and Sydney and the winning Nett score came from Ryley Martin of Headland Golf Club with Nett 75, and Gross winner Douglas Klein from Redcliffe with 76. 2013 Programme For 2013, the structure of the JDP shows little change from last year, with Bronze (5-7 years), Silver (8-12 years) and Gold (13+ years) once more being the categories. This year, we wish to improve the efficiency of the coaching staff by asking interested parents to fulfil duties as 'coaching aides', in addition to general supervision. This will allow for more rapid setting-up of skills tests, allowing more coaching time to take place. Parents will also (hopefully) be involved in setting-up tee positions on the course for players of different strength and skill levels. Our Professional coaches this year will be Andrew Marchbank and Richard Gompels, assisted by new third-year Trainee Leon Ang, who will help particularly with the Silver group. It is also the intention to foster the development of our prospective Junior Pennant Players by arranging for small group coaching at a time suitable for these older participants, possibly after school. To end, let me say that the Adam Scott RQ JDP is designed to encourage the learning of the game of golf, and all its associated values in young people of ALL abilities. Whilst the higher performing Juniors may represent our Junior Pennant team, the primary goal is to encourage ALL boys and girls to enjoy the physical and social benefits of our great game, and to thus become the backbone of our Club into the future.
Adam Scott Conducting Clinic with JDP Members in Early 2012
Parents can also enjoy the interaction with other like-minded parents during the coaching sessions. Looking forward to 2013.
Suddy MacKechnie, Programme Coordinator 4.
ASSOCIATES’ NEWS At the Associates’ AGM on 22nd November 2012 the new Committee was elected. Sue Cox was elected President as Judy Street retired after nine years of dedicated commitment to the Club. Jan Olsen was welcomed as VicePresident as were two other new Committee Members, Anne Moran and Helen Hains. Stephanie Cumming continues as Captain with Judy Theodoridis, Vice-Captain. Kerry Roberts is our new Secretary and Sue Hill, Handicap Manager. Sue Cox has since had to resign from the position of Associate President and issued the following statement: "It is with regret that I am writing to you to inform you of my decision to resign my position as President of the Associates’ Committee of Royal Queensland Golf Club effective from 31st January 2013. It is a decision made after long and careful consideration. My life has changed significantly since I was elected President of our Committee and the personal commitments I now have will not permit me to fulfil the requirements of my position as your President. Jan Olsen has kindly agreed to take over the position of President of our Committee. I thank her sincerely for accepting the Presidency and understanding my position. Joy Kruger has been appointed to fill the casual vacancy of Vice-President until the next AGM". We welcome you all to the 2013 golf season which opened on Tuesday 12th February. The day was a great success, with our usual Bring and Buy stalls and raffles. We also reverted to a two tee start from that day. Opening Day was also the day that entries opened for our annual competitions, being Eclectic, Gertrude McLeod Trophy, International Bowl, Golf Qld Brooch, and B&DLGA District Brooch. You may pay your entry fees for those competitions by seeing our Vice-Captain, Judy Theodoridis, or any member of the Committee. The annual review of the Stroke Index has been completed. The new Index reflects the level of difficulty of each hole as experienced by our Associates during the last twelve months. Similarly to last year, consideration was also given to the degree of balance between the two nines. The Match Index will remain unchanged for 2013. Lastly, but not least; there have been three Holes in One since the last Pin Hi. Christine Thomas achieved her Hole in One on 20th September, Glenda Fryer on 6th November, and Merita Pailthorpe on 9th December. Congratulations are extended to each of those ladies for their rare and coveted achievement.
Jan Olsen and Stephanie Cumming
SIR LESLIE WILSON CUP DINNER – FRIDAY 8TH MARCH The qualifying round for the 2013 Sir Leslie Wilson Cup is being held on nd Saturday 2 March and planning for that “special” partner has well and truly th commenced. The following week, Friday 8 March, the Sir Leslie Wilson Cup Dinner and Calcutta will be held at 6:30pm. Auctioneer extraordinaire Wally Boydell has commenced his research and will manage the Calcutta of the 32 teams that qualify for this prestigious event. Best of luck to all Members, including defending Champions Ian Thompson and Peter th Falcongreen, who initially qualified 16 . Dinner is $60 per person and remains one of the highlight events of the year. Book via the website or ring House Manager Ken Brown on 3633 6500.
MIXED OPENING GALA DINNER th
On Saturday 9 February 175 Members and their partners celebrated the official reopening of the refurbished and extended Clubhouse, along with the start of the 2013 golfing season. Whilst the men dusted off their tuxedos and a number of guests provided impressive James Bond impersonations, there was no doubt that the ladies outshone the men with some beautiful dresses adding real class to the dinner. The evening commenced with canapés and refreshments. The new Balcony was “standing room only” by 7pm when, out of the darkness from the golf course, emerged the unique sound of a Scottish bagpiper. Vice-Captain Suddy MacKechnie, in full traditional Scottish attire (as seen below), accompanied a fellow Scotsman who played the th bagpipes down the 10 fairway, up the new grand external staircase and through the Clubhouse. Suddy carried the new plaque to acknowledge the official opening of the refurbished and extended Clubhouse, which was later formally acknowledged during Queensland State Treasurer and Minister for Trade Tim Nicholls’ speech. During the sumptuous meal, President Des Knight acknowledged the tireless efforts of the Project Committee, with particular thanks paid to now Captain, Ralph Heading. Former Presidents David Little and Kerry Wark were acknowledged for their involvement in the project, with Kerry detailing the vision of the past Boards to provide all Members with outstanding food and beverage facilities and service, seven days a week. At the conclusion of dinner Member Dick Grantley’s band “Still Standing” entertained the guests long into the night with some rapturous renditions of 70s and 80s classics. The Balcony then became the focal point of the evening with over 100 guests kicking up their heels on the open air dance floor. The new Balcony’s structural integrity was suitably tested, with a number of senior Members noting that this dance floor did not move up and down “like the old Clubhouse did in the 60s and 70s!” Thank you to all Members who attended a fabulous event. Congratulations also to the 90 Members who backed up the following day for the 12:30pm Mixed Opening Day golf. Robert and Di Millar won the Mixed 4BBB Stableford with an excellent score of 45 points.
Vice-Captain Suddy MacKechnie Accompanied a Bagpiper th Down the 10 Fairway and Into the Clubhouse
MIXED OPENING GALA DINNER (cont.)
IN THE SPOTLIGHT Resident Gardener Anthony Charman joined the Club in October 2011 and is a caring, softly spoken, and dedicated Member of the RQ Team. He is currently finalising the beautification of the Clubhouse precinct and entry, post the Clubhouse Upgrade Project. Anthony’s passion for his work is evident in the presentation of our gardens, and he has capably handled an extremely challenging period, with the builders Watpac needing to take over numerous garden areas for the second half of 2012. What do you enjoy most about working at RQ? The friendly people I get to meet; the beautiful environment I get to work in. Are you a golfer? No, not really. I used to play from time to time but seemed to lose a lot of golf balls! How do you like to spend your leisure time? With my partner and five year old daughter. Best meal you’ve ever eaten? My partner’s speciality – a chilli stuffed pancake! What type of music do you like? Alternative music, including Spiderbait.
(cont. page 10)
PRO SHOP PRONOUNCEMENTS On behalf of Andrew, Richard, Leon, Chris and Will, I would like to wish you a Happy New Golfing Year. We look forward to being a part of your golfing success in 2013. We will be conducting regular clinics throughout the year. To keep in touch with these and to book please review the Club website regularly or speak to us when you are next in the Pro Shop. Introducing Leon Ang Leon is a graduate of the PGA IGI programme at Griffith University, having completed a Commerce Degree with an emphasis on sports management. Leon now has the opportunity to complete what is the equivalent of the third year of the PGA traineeship to then be eligible for Australian PGA membership. Leon, a native of Singapore, is a very keen cook and is happy to discuss all things Asian when it comes to cooking. Leon is looking forward to joining you for a game on a Wednesdays and will be helping Andrew and Richard with the Junior Development Programme. New Products 2013 sees the launch of some very exciting products. Ping has launched a new range of clubs, but perhaps the most exciting offering from Ping is the new Scottsdale range of putters. These putters have a varying depth groove system on the face. The benefit of this is for the off-centre hit. Testing has concluded that a putter which has a flat face and hits a ball in the centre travelling 7.5 metres will result in a putt that will finish 40cm short if hit 12mm towards the toe, and 23cm short if hit 12mm towards the heel. The New Scottsdale putter will result in a putt that will travel 7.5 metres (0 difference) if hit 12mm off-centre towards the toe and 25mm too long if hit 12mm off-centre towards the heel. A massive improvement in the consistency of your distance control. These will be in store mid-February. Taylor Made has another release with the R1 Driver, RBZ STAGE 2 Driver, Fairway, Hybrid and Tour versions of the R Bladz irons. I will have their fitting cart here soon. Callaway has a new range as well. Titleist has a new Pro V1 and Pro V1X due for release mid-February, along with the release of the Titleist 913 Fairways and Hybrids at the same time. We have some fitting days booked for both Callaway and Ping in the month of February - good opportunities to see th th their latest offerings. Callaway is booked in for Friday 15 while Ping is booked in for the 28 . The timetables for these days will be on the Club website. The Pro Shop is now stocking the plain white shorter socks that satisfy the new dress regulations. We will continue to carry the RQ logo sock. 2013 My New Year’s resolution is to play some more golf and start doing some practice. When I have been practising lately I have regularly had Members come over to ask a question or just to watch. Please don’t hesitate to do either. I am very proud to say that I have been invited to be a guest of Ping at their headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona in March. The visit will include viewing a “pour” in their foundry, a visit to the putter vault* and spending time with their R&D team, engineers and their club fitting specialists. I will then travel to the Titleist headquarters via Palm Springs and the six courses at PGA West to spend some time at the Titleist Performance Institute where I will be meeting with the legendary wedge specialist Bob Vokey. * The Ping putter vault (pictured right) houses a gold plated replica of the Ping putter used by the winner of any tour event in the world. It is engraved with the tournament name/date and player’s name. If the tournament is a major then the putter head is SOLID gold. The player is sent one as a memento.
The Ping Putter Vault
Chris Rutherford 8.
COURSE MANAGEMENT REPORT Maintenance Matters Happy New Year to all Members and staff of the Club from the ground staff. We hope all had a safe and wonderful holiday season. The staff would like to thank the Club for another wonderful staff Christmas party as we move into the Opening of the season. 2012 ended in a dry period with only 272mm falling in the last six months of the year, with an accumulated total of 1317.5mm over the year. Strangely, similar figures were recorded in 2011 with 356mm falling in the latter half of the year to provide an accumulated total of 1365.5mm. With the season just started, general maintenance practices have increased and as such the staff will be exposed to more play. In the interests of safety, we request that players understand that staff may not always be aware of their presence. While we will always try not to impede play, course setup for the appropriate competition takes priority as we often have limited time to complete this task. Players (particularly those practising early in the morning) should note that if a flag is out and staff are on the green, the hole is considered out of play until the flag is replaced and/or staff have acknowledged the players and moved to a safe distance for play to resume. Divots In the last edition of Pin Hi we talked about the mowers and the efforts taken to ensure all mowers are sharp and providing a quality cut. We also talked about the effects foreign objects passing through these units can have on these precision maintenance instruments, and the economical results. Another thing that can often dull mowers is sand, and believe it or not a unit only has to pass over a few overfilled divots before it has a detrimental effect on the cutting quality. So, what is the correct way to fill a divot? If a large divot has been removed, ideally it should be replaced, stamped in by foot, and lightly dressed with sand, ensuring that the finished product is slightly below grass level. Smaller divots and pieces of divot are probably not going to survive as mentioned above, so it is often better to use the sand filling method for their repair. Sand filling of divots, although a simple and easy fix, can sometimes be done haphazardly, with the result slowing turf recuperation and damaging mowers. Following are three recommended tips for correct repair of divots:
A Badly Repaired Divot – Overfilled
1. Take an iron club and with its leading edge, sharply “cut” the surrounding grass back into the centre of the divot. Start the “cut” about 1”-2” around the perimeter of the divot. With a little practice this takes literally only seconds to get a workable amount of grass back into the core of the divot. This action will minimize the “crater” caused by the divot and allow grass to cover the impacted area more rapidly. 2. Once the grass has been “cut” back in, tip a small amount of sand into the repaired area – just enough to cover the surface and filter to the base of the repaired area. 3. With your foot, stamp down the area and level, so that the surface is equal to or slightly lower than the surrounding surface. The appearance of an unrepaired divot is undesirable, and if not filled or replaced there will be a void in the turf for a long time. These voids can often help the initiation of weed emergence such as winter grass, crowsfoot, kikuyu, etc.
Correctly Repaired Divots – Sand Just Below Grass Surface
At Royal Queensland we are lucky to have a membership devoted to helping care for the course as best they can, st th and it is always pleasing on a Saturday to see the sand bins at the Pro Shop, 1 and 10 half empty after only the morning field having gone out.
Marcus Price, Course Manager 9.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT (cont.) (from page 7) If you could invite three people to play a round of golf, who would they be? My best mate, Adam Gilchrist, and Charlie Earp, who is always keen to have a chat with me. Describe your dream holiday? To visit the Blue Mountains for the first time with my family, as we love bushwalking. What is one thing on your ‘bucket list’? Complete the Kokoda Trail: my grandfather was part of the war at Kokoda and it would be interesting to see. Who makes you laugh? Homer Simpson One thing people might not know about you? I grow bonsai trees. RQ Gardener Anthony Charman
RULES ARE RULES The Flagstick Rule 17 relates to issues dealing with The Flagstick. The “flagstick” is defined clearly in Definitions as a movable straight indicator centred in the hole to show its position. It usually has a flag attached which is also part of the flagstick. Flagstick attended, removed or held up (Rule 17-1) Before playing a stroke from anywhere on the course, a player may have the flagstick attended, removed or held up to indicate the position of the hole. If anyone is standing near the hole while the flagstick is in the hole, he is deemed to be attending the flagstick until the ball comes to rest. Such a person is deemed to be “near the hole” if he is close enough to touch the flagstick (Decision 17-1/1). Unless the player makes an objection to the person attending the flagstick, he is deemed to have authorised it. If the flagstick is not attended, removed or held up before the player makes a stroke, it must not be attended, removed or held up during the stroke or while the ball is in motion if doing so might influence the movement of the ball. Although there is no restriction on where the person attending the flagstick may stand, it is good etiquette not to stand on that player’s line of putt, or an extension of that line behind the hole, or on the putting line of other players in the group who are yet to putt. The attendant should also avoid standing in a position where his shadow is cast over the player’s line of putt. Unauthorised attendance (Rule 17-2) If an opponent or his caddie in match play, or a fellow-competitor or his caddie in stroke play, without the player’s authority or prior knowledge, attends, removes or holds up the flagstick during the stroke or while the ball is in motion and the act might influence the movement of the ball, the opponent or fellow-competitor incurs the applicable penalty. In stroke play, if a player’s ball strikes the flagstick, or the person attending it or anything carried by him and the attendance is unauthorised, the player incurs no penalty. The ball is played as it lies, except that if the stroke was made on the putting green, the stroke is cancelled and the ball must be replaced and replayed. Ball striking flagstick or attendant (Rule 17-3) The player’s ball must not strike: a. The flagstick when it is attended, removed or held up; b. The person attending the flagstick or anything carried by him; or c. The flagstick in the hole, unattended, when the stroke was made on the putting green. Exception: When the flagstick is attended without the player’s authority. Ball resting against flagstick (Rule 17-4) When a player’s ball rests against the flagstick in the hole and the ball is not holed (ie all of the ball below the level of the lip of the hole), the player or another person authorised by him may move or remove the flagstick, and if the ball falls into the hole, the player is deemed to have holed out with his last stroke; otherwise, the ball if moved, must be placed on the lip of the hole without penalty.
RULES ARE RULES (cont.) Question 1 A player is about to chip their ball from off the putting green. They see that the flagstick is leaning sideways. a) May they centre the flagstick in the hole? b) May they remove the flagstick? c) May they have the flagstick attended? d) May they adjust the flagstick so that it is leaning away from them? Answer 1 a) Yes b) Yes c) Yes d) No
(Decision17/4) (Rule17-1) (Rule17-1) (Decision17/4)
Note: The flagstick may be left as it is or centred in the hole. It may not be adjusted to a more favourable position than centred. To do so would infringe Rule 1-2 (Exerting Influence on Ball).
Question 1 – Leaning Flagstick
Question 2 A, the opponent or fellowcompetitor of B, removes the flagstick from the hole and places it on the ground. B putts and A, who is standing within reach of the flagstick, realises that B’s ball might strike the removed flagstick, so he picks up the flagstick. What is the ruling? Question 3 – Ball Hits Flag
Answer 2 There is no penalty – see Rule 24-1.
Question 3a A flagstick has been removed from the hole and laid on the putting green. A player putts too strongly and the ball hits the flag, but not the flagstick. Does the player incur a penalty? Question 3b In playing a ball from a bunker their ball strikes the flag attached to an attended flagstick. Does the player incur a penalty? Answers 3a and b Yes. Note: The flag is part of the flagstick. In both the scenarios the player incurs a penalty of two strokes in stroke play or loss of hole in match play (Decision 17-3/5). Question 4 A’s ball lies on the putting green. A requests B, his opponent or fellow-competitor, to attend the flagstick, and B complies. A putts and B fails to remove the flagstick. A’s ball strikes the flagstick. What is the ruling? Answer 4 If B failed to remove the flagstick for the purpose of causing A to incur a penalty, B is disqualified under Rule 33-7 for taking action contrary to the spirit of the game. If B’s failure to remove the flagstick was with the intent to influence the movement of A’s ball, B is in breach of Rule 12, and loses the hole in match play or incurs a two-stroke penalty in stroke play, whether the ball strikes the flagstick or not. If B’s failure to remove the flagstick was not deliberate (eg the flagstick stuck in the hole-liner or B was distracted and did not see A putt), since B was acting on A’s behalf, A incurs a penalty of loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play under Rule 17-3. A must play the ball as it lies. B incurs no penalty (Decision 17-3/2).
RULES ARE RULES (cont.) Question 5 During a Club Championship match, a player requests the Referee to attend the flagstick and the Referee complies with the request. Is the player subject to a penalty? Answer 5 A Referee should not attend the flagstick (see Definition of “Referee”). However a player incurs no penalty if he makes such a request and the Referee complies (Decision 17-1/3). Question 6 In a four-ball play, A is preparing to play from off the putting green. B, A’s partner, attends the flagstick without A’s knowledge or express authority. A plays and as B removes the flagstick, he knocks of his hat and A’s ball hits the hat. What is the ruling? Answer 6 If the flagstick is attended by the player’s caddie, his partner or his partner’s caddie, i.e. by a member of the player’s side, it is deemed to be attended with the player’s knowledge and authority. Accordingly, in match play A is disqualified from the hole (Rule 17-3b), but B incurs no penalty (Rule 30-3f).
Question 6 – Ball Hits Hat
In stroke play, A incurs a two-stroke penalty and must play the ball as it lies (Rule 17-3b), but B incurs no penalty (Rule 31-8) (Decision 17-3/4). Question 7 A player played a stroke from the putting green. The ball struck the hole-liner, which stuck to the bottom of the flagstick and came out of the hole when the person attending the flagstick removed the flagstick. Is there a penalty? Answer 7 No. A hole-liner is an outside agency. Accordingly, if the hole-liner was moving when the ball struck it, the stroke is cancelled and the ball must be replaced – Rule 19-1b. If the hole-liner was not moving, the ball must be played as it lies – Rule 19-1. In case of doubt, the ball must be played as it lies (Decision 17/8). Question 8a A player’s ball is resting against the flagstick. The player removes the flagstick and the ball moves away from the hole. The player plays the ball from the new position, holing the putt. What is the ruling? Answer 8a The player was required to place the ball on the lip of the hole (Rule 17-4). In match play, the player loses the hole – Rules 17-4 and 2-6. In stroke play, the player incurs a penalty of two strokes and the ball is holed – Rules 17-4 and 3-5 (Decision 17-4/4). Question 8b A player’s ball is resting against the flagstick. Without the player’s authority, his opponent or a fellow-competitor removes the flagstick and the ball moves away from the hole. What is the ruling? Question 8 – Ball Against Flagstick
Answer 8b In match play, the opponent incurs a penalty stroke and the ball must be replaced against the flagstick (Rule 18-3b). In stroke play, the ball must be replaced against the flagstick without penalty to anyone (Rule 18-4). In either form of play, the player may then move or remove the flagstick as prescribed in Rule 17-4 (Decision 17-4/3). I again acknowledge the assistance of Peter Monks in compiling this article.
Neville Sandford 12.