Problems in Abu Dhabi - Tiger Tiger Burning (not so Bright)!

I had an interesting discussion in the clubhouse recently as to why Tiger Woods was penalised two strokes in Abu Dhabi recently.

Woods’ tee shot at a par 4 veered off the fairway into vegetation growing in the desert and plugged in sand. He asked his playing partner Martin Kaymer to confirm it was plugged. Kaymer agreed it was plugged, and Tiger believed he was allowed relief without penalty.

I was surprised to hear this as under the Rules of Golf there is relief from a plugged ball only on the fairway or a part of the course cut to fairway height or less. So we amateurs would not obtain relief in such a situation.

So it is important to bear in mind that the pros have some specific exceptions to the Rules of Golf which are not available to us amateurs. Tiger’s problem was that he didn’t read this “exception” closely enough because whilst it gave him relief it did contain a proviso that there was no relief permitted if the ball was plugged in sand.

By the way, did you know that whilst there is a limit on the weight of a golf ball, there is no limit on the size? The weight must not be greater than 1.620 oz. The size must not be less than 1.680 inches.

And while we’re at it, a tee must not be longer than 4 inches. So if you are one of those people who like to stick one tee into another, make sure you have a ruler! Because the penalty for infringement of this rule is disqualification. You’ll find the explanation in Appendix IV: Devices and Other Equipment.

And while we’re still at it, here’s another interesting one to make you smile. In a mixed foursome, the lady is due to play the tee shot. But it means driving over 150 yds over a lake. She is not happy at the prospect, and tells her partner this. He suggests that she deliberately miss the ball, so he can play the shot over the water. The lady deliberately missed the ball, but before her partner can play, their fellow competitor tells them it is still the lady’s turn. Her male partner says she has taken her shot and missed. The marker replies that she deliberately missed, and that is not a stroke. So there is no penalty, but it is still her shot.

Ray Wilson