Click below to go direct to the relevant answer;
First things first, there is no such thing as declaring a ball lost. The original ball is the ball in play until it has not been found within the allowed search time (3 minutes) or the provisional ball has been played from a spot nearer to the hole than the estimated position of the original ball.
Some people think that you are not allowed to go and look for your opponent’s ball because he has declared it lost. Because there is no such thing as declaring a ball lost you are perfectly entitled to search for your opponents ball if you think it would be to your advantage.
Having found your opponent’s ball (within the search time) what are his options?
1. He can play the ball from where it lies.
2. He can take “back on line” or “lateral” relief adding a penalty shot (we’ll cover these 2 forms of relief in a later question)
3. He can return to the tee and play 3.
There is 1 more option that he has which is somewhat morally dubious but allowed.
1. He can go to the green and tap his putt into the hole thereby making the original ball lost because he has played a shot at the provisional ball closer to the hole than the estimated position of the original ball.
p.s. In the original question I said that you “found” his ball. To do this you would have had to be able to identify it by make, brand, number and your opponent’s identifying mark. If you were unable to to do this positively (maybe your opponent had not put an identifying mark on his ball), then you would have had to require him to come and identify the ball. This creates the opportunity for your opponent to resort to an even more ethically dubious option.
Rule 18.2a says
”The player must promptly attempt to identify the ball ... and is allowed a reasonable time to do so....
....If the Player does not identify his or her ball in that reasonable time, the ball is lost.”
If your opponent procrastinated for so long over coming to identify the ball, then by dint of this Rule he would have obviated your knowledge of the Rules in going to find his original ball and he would gain the advantage of his “provisional ball” being close enough for a tap in.
The answers to question 2, highlighted in RED, with the incorrect answer scored through.
A useful guide that I was taught when I was training to become a referee was that if the ball two touches two distinct areas then the ball will be deemed to be in the smaller area. The course is smaller than the rest of the world, the fairway is smaller than the rest of the course, the green is smaller still.This guide works for a) - d) below but e) - h) are special circumstances.
e) Rule 6.2b states “... a ball is in the teeing area when any part of the ball touches or is above any part of the teeing area....”
f) The sand spilling out of the bunker is not part of the bunker
g) and h) - A ball is holed if it is in the hole and ALL of it is below the surface. In addition (since January 2019) if a ball is at rest against the flagstick with part of the ball below the surface then it is holed
What part of the course is the ball on? (Note: I have used words that describe parts of the course as we know them but which are not necessarily defined in the Rule book)
a) The ball is partly on the Out of Bounds line and partly on the General Area
- INBOUNDS / OOB? The course is smaller than the rest of the world
b) The ball is partly on the fringe and partly on the green is
- Fringe / GREEN? The green is smaller than the General Area
c) The ball lies partly on the fairway and partly in the rough (Need to know this for winter rules)
- FAIRWAY / Rough? The fairway is a small part of the General Area
d) Most of the ball is on the red line of a penalty area but a small part of the ball is is on the rough outside the penalty area
- PENALTY AREA / Rough The Penalty Area is a small part of the course (Before anyone points out that if you are playing on a seaside course, the sea will normally be a Penalty Area and the sea is larger than the course, the greater / smaller concept is only a guide)
e) The ball is on a tee which is in front of a line drawn between the front of edges of the tee markers but a small part of the ball is overhanging that line
- General Area / TEEING AREA Answered above
f) The ball lies on sand spilling out of the back edge of a bunker
- Bunker / GENERAL AREA Answered above
g) The ball rests against the flagstick with a small part of the ball below ground level
- HOLED / Putting green Answered above
h) The ball is embedded in the edge of the hole with 90% of it below ground level. The ball is not in contact with the flagstick
- Holed / PUTTING GREEN Answered above
Looking at Ian’s card first.
Date / Time - Spot on
Event - It is a Stableford not a Medal but no problem
Player - Great
Handicap should be 22 not 21. His score will be calculated based on this handicap of 21. Had he entered 23, rather than 21 (or his correct handicap of 22), he would be DISQUALIFIED.
Holes 1 - 18 (No problems with the scores unless specifically mentioned below). Note:- as stated in the original question the score that the player achieved is that which is written in the Marker’s Column of the other player’s card.
Hole 2 - Ian actually scored a 5 (as per Marker’s Column of Robin’s card) but he has signed for a 6. No problem his score of 6 will count.
No Stableford scores shown - No problem - Not the player’s or marker’s responsibility
Signatures - Perfect
Date / Time - not entered
Event - not entered
Player - not entered
None of these is a problem (as far as the Rules of golf are concerned because they are the responsibility of the Championship Committee) but some club rules may state that they need to be entered.
Handicap - correct
Strokes received - not entered - no problem
Hole 5 - scored a 5 but Ian put me down for a 6. Score of 6 stands
Signatures - No problem - you can sign anywhere on the card but It is advisable to sign in the suggested area
There was nothing on either card that would cause a DQ so it comes down to the Stableford points. Ian scored 36 points off his declared handicap of 21 (would have been 37 points if he had declared his handicap correctly). Robin scored 38 and is the winner.
Provided that all the information on the card is correct, you can only be disqualified (under Rules of Golf) if you have not entered your handicap or signed the card. The picture below (taken from page 26 of the Player’s Edition of the Rules of Golf) confirms this.
In a Stableford competition there is no requirement to enter the number of points, there is no requirement to enter a score in the Marker’s column.
To comply with the Rules of Golf you are only REQUIRED to :-
* enter your handicap
* check that the score for each hole is correct
* check that your Marker has signed the card
* sign the card
Answers to questions immediately after each question
Player A arrives on the 1st Tee in an official competition and the starter reminds him to check his number of clubs. He has 13. Player B also has 13 clubs but Player C has 15. To save time Player C transfers a club to Player A so that they both have 14.
Q 4.1 Any penalty to either player, if so how much? (This phrase will be shortened to “Penalty ?” , in the remainder of this document)
As this happened before the round started the Rules do not apply and there is no penalty to either player.
Player A hits his with driver but is dissatisfied with the height the ball achieves so adjusts the loft whilst Player B and C tee off.
Q 4.2 Penalty ?
There is no penalty at this point for altering the club. If the club is used in its altered state then there would be a penalty of DQ.
As they walk off the tee, Player C states that he thinks it is illegal to change the playing characteristics of a club during the round.
Q 4.3 Penalty ?
There is no penalty for imparting information about the Rules. If, however, you are in a match play situation and the information that you are given puts you at a disadvantage, I would strongly recommend that you ask your opponent to show it to you in the Rule book.
Player A says he will alter the loft back to what it was and does so.
Q 4.4 Penalty ?
This is one of the Rules that changed at the start of 2019. There is now no penalty for altering the playing characteristics of a club during a round (PROVIDED THAT YOU DO NOT USE IT)
On the 2nd hole Player A uses his driver again
Q 4.5 Penalty ?
Continuation of the changed Rule. You are now allowed to restore your club as nearly as possible to its original position and use it without incurring a penalty
On the 3rd green the group discover 2 abandoned clubs. They decide that Player B and C will each carry one of the clubs.
Q 4.6 Penalty ?
There is no penalty for putting another player’s club in your bag and it does not count towards your 14 club maximum.
On the 5th hole both Player B and C accidentally use the club that they have each carried since the 3rd green
Q 4.7 Penalty ?
Player C incurs a 2 shot penalty (and an additional 2 shots each time he uses the “found” club) up to a maximum of 4 shots. The situation with Player B is somewhat less clear and i will attempt to explain at the end of this document.
On the 7th hole, Player B who has been putting very badly, sees his wife on an adjacent hole. Without delaying play he goes over to her and agrees to exchange putters.
Q 4.8 Penalty ?
Sharing of clubs is not allowed. 2 shot penalty for each time the club is used (maximum 4 shots)
ONLY CONTINUE READING IF YOU ARE OR WANT TO BECOME A RULES NERD
Q 4.7 Attempt at explanation of the situation for Player B
Player B only had 13 clubs in his bag when one of the “abandoned clubs” was added. It could be argued that he is adding a club to make his total number of clubs 14, which he is entitled to do. However the last paragraph of Rule 4.1b (1) states in part:-
“....if the player picks up another player’s club....the club is not treated as one of the player’s clubs .... (but it must not be used).”
The Rules are very precise and pedantic in their terminology and so the use of the phrase “another player’s club” is obviously different to “another club”.
If this group was the first one out in the morning it could be argued that these 2 abandoned clubs were each “another club” rather than “another player’s club”. Equally if they had been found, say, in the middle of a bush. Another club may be added to the bag, as long as the player then has no more than 14, and may be used without penalty. “Another player’s club” may not be used.
I am attempting to get an interpretation from the R & A. I will keep you posted.
Relief or not. The questions below ask if you get relief or not. By relief I mean relief without incurring a penalty shot.
In the distance, in the middle of the fairway, you see a dog digging up the ground. You play your shot and the ball lands near the dog which runs away. When you arrive at your ball it is in the hole that the dog was digging.
Q5.1 Relief / No Relief
Relief - The pre-2019 Rule was that you only got relief from a hole made by a burrowing animal. Now the Rule states that you get relief from “Any hole dug in the ground by an animal”
Worms and insects which are also loose impediments are an exception
As above but the ball is not in the hole but your feet will be when you take your stance
Q5.2 Relief / No Relief
Relief - If an Abnormal Ground Condition affects the area of your intended stance or swing then relief is available
As for 5.1 but where the dog was digging was in the rough
Q5.3 Relief / No Relief
Relief - The new Rules make no distinction between rough and fairway; it is the General Area
As for 5.2 but where the dog was digging was in the rough
Q5.4 Relief / No Relief
Relief - As for 5.3
Your ball comes to rest in an area where a tree stump has been removed. It is marked as Ground Under Repair (GUR)
Q5.5 Relief / No Relief
Relief - No change from pre-2019 Rules
As above but the area is NOT marked as GUR
Q5.6 Relief / No Relief
Relief - Definition of GUR states that “a hole made in removing turf or a tree stump” is GUR even if the Committee does not define them as such
Your swing might damage a bird’s nest
Q5.7 Relief / No Relief
Relief - Definition of GUR says you get relief if your swing or stance might damage an animal habitat such as a bird’s nest
Your swing might damage a wasp’s nest
Q5.8 Relief / No Relief
No Relief under GUR (animal habitat) but relief under Rule 16.2a - Dangerous Animal
Your ball is outside an area of GUR but your feet, when placed to take your swing, will be inside the area of GUR.
Q5.9 Relief / No Relief
As above but when you examine where your nearest point of relief will be you realize that it will be in an area which will make the ball unplayable.
Q5.10 Do you have to take relief?
Unless the the area is marked as mandatory relief then you do not have to take that relief. What you are not allowed to do is take relief and look for the nicest place; it has to be the NEAREST point of relief. Always assess the situation before you make your decision and pick up your ball.
Your ball is outside an area of ground marked GUR. A tree growing within the area of GUR interferes with your swing.
Q5.11 Relief / No Relief
Relief - overhanging branches from a tree growing within an area of GUR provide relief.
As above but it is the root of the tree that interferes with your swing
Q5.12 Relief / No Relief
No Relief - Roots do not give relief
Your club would hit a ball cleaner on your backswing.
Q5.13 Relief / No Relief
Relief - Immovable Obstruction - area of stance or intended swing
Your club would hit a ball cleaner on the follow through
Q5.14 Relief / No Relief
Relief - as for Q5.13
A ball cleaner is 5 metres in front of you 1 metre to the right of your line to the hole
Q5.15 Relief / No Relief
No Relief - Not within your area of intended swing
The ball cleaner is 5 metres in front of you directly on your line to the hole.
Q5.16 Relief / No Relief
No Relief - as for Q 5.15
You are playing in a prestigious Pro Am. There is an advertising hoarding 10 meters in front of you on a direct line to the hole
Q5.17 Relief / No Relief
No Relief - as for Q 5.16
Your swing is impeded by a 150 yard marker post which you are unable to remove
Q5.18 Relief / No Relief
Relief - Immovable Obstruction
Your swing is impeded by an Out of Bounds (OOB) stake
Q5.19 Relief / No Relief
No Relief - Boundary objects are not obstructions
You remove the OOB stake but your opponent tells you this is not allowed.
Q5.20 Is (s)he correct? Can you replace the stake and play without penalty or have you lost the hole?
Change since 2019. Previously you could not replace the stake and get away with no penalty. Post-2019 as long as you replace the stake that you removed in as near a position as it was, you can play with no penalty.
One of my personal pet hates is roll-ups who have a swindle (either Stableford or medal) and at the same time will play a 4-ball match within the group that tee off together. The first reason that I dislike it is that a 4-ball stroke play round is easily the slowest form of golf there is and by doing this the group is paying no heed to the demands of the rest of the players on the course. The second reason is that the Rules that cover Stroke play as opposed to Match play are so different that the two forms of golf can not, sensibly, be played at the same time.
Therefore today’s questions are mostly about the differences (or not) between the Rules for Stroke and Match play. In all the questions there is no suggestion that the player unduly delayed play. For all questions there will be 2 answers. The first for a match play situation, the second for stroke play.
Q1. The player has a mid-morning start time and so decides to play a loop of 3 holes before his tee time. Is this allowed? Match play (MP) - No penalty (NP). Stroke play (SP) - DQ. If you are playing MP you may play anywhere on the course prior to your tee time
Q2. The player arrives at the tee 15 seconds after his tee time. What is the penalty? General penalty (GP) i.e. MP - loss of hole. SP - 2 shots. If your tee time is, for example, 9:00 then you must be ready to tee off at that time and no later.
Q3. The 2 players arrive at the tee 10 minutes BEFORE their tee time. As there is no one on the hole in front they decide to start straight away What is the penalty? MP & SP - DQ. You are required to tee off at your tee time. Too early is as bad as too late.
Q4. The player arrives at the tee 5 1/2 minutes after his tee time What is the penalty? MP & SP - DQ. Up to 5 minutes late, GP, more than 5 minutes late DQ
Q5. While he is waiting to start the player hits some chips close to the 1st tee What is the penalty? MP & SP - NP. You may practice chipping and putting on and around the 1st tee.
Q6. After completion of the 3rd hole player takes 3 practice putts What is the penalty? MP & SP - NP. You may practice putts on the green that you have just finished.
Q7. The player then hits 2 chips from the fringe and a further 2 chips on the tee of the 4th hole. What is the penalty? MP & SP - NP. Chipping is also allowed.
Q8. Having started play at the 10th hole of the West (as directed by the starter) player hits 3 practice putts on the putting green as they walk from the 18th green to the 1st tee What is the penalty? MP & SP - NP. You are allowed to practice putt on any practice putting green.
Q9. On the 11th hole player A accidentally tees off from in front of the tee markers What is the penalty? MP - NP, opponent may require the stroke to be taken again. SP - GP - error must be corrected. You must tee off within the Teeing area, a rectangle that is defined by the front and outside edges of the tee markers and 2 club lengths behind the the tee markers
Q10. On the 12th Par 3, player having lasered distance to flag, discovers that it is 121 yds. He knows that a smooth 9 iron goes 125 yards so he tees up 4 yards behind the tee marker. The ball finishes 1 foot from the hole. What is the penalty? As for Q9.
Q11. On the 13th, Player B, having lost the previous hole and annoyed at having to wait for Player A who is taking a couple of practice putts on the 12th green, plays his tee shot first. What is the penalty? MP - opponent may require the stroke to be taken again. SP - No penalty; good use of ready golf
Q12. Player B has hit his ball into long rough. Whilst Player A is walking down the fairway Player B finds a ball in the area where he expects his ball to be, marks the spot with a tee, lifts, identifies and replaces the ball. What is the penalty? MP & SP No penalty. Player needs to identify his ball. He has correctly marked, lifted and replaced it. There is no longer a requirement to call over your opponent or fellow competitor when you are identifying your ball.
Q13. In the scenario described in the introduction (individual swindle + match play), Player A & B are playing against Player C & D. Player A says to Player B “what is the line for this putt” Player B replies “1 inch outside the right”. What is the penalty? MP - no penalty. SP - GP for both players. You may give advice to your partner in Match play but in Stroke play you may not ask for or give advice to a fellow competitor
Q14. A & B v C & D. On 17th green A says to B “I am out of this hole but we have already won the match. I am the only one who is likely to win the swindle so I would like you to deliberately lose this hole so that the opponents tee off first on the 18th. I will then see their tee shots and yours so that I can judge how the ball behaves on the green.” B replies “OK”. What is the penalty? MP - no penalty. SP - GP. Rule 6.4b states if two or more players agree to play out of turn to give one of them an advantage each of them gets the general penalty.
On The Tee. Stroke play competition played from the white tees. There is no continuation of a situation from one numbered question to the next.
1. Player A & B play their tee shots. Player A’s ball only travels forwards 10 yards whilst player B’s ball is well down the fairway. Player A walks to his ball and hits it. Spectator then informs them that they have, mistakenly, played from the yellow tees.
What action must each player take and how many shots will each of them have played when they have played their next shot?
Each player must return to the white tee and will have played their 3rd shot. Strokes made at a ball which is not in play (Player A’s second shot after his original tee shot) do not count.
2. Player B tees off 2 club lengths behind the tee and plays his shot. The .ball hits a tree and rebounds to finish just in front of and touching his tee which is still in the ground.
a) Is the player allowed to remove the tee before playing his next shot?
Yes, the ball is within the teeing area. The answer is the same for b), c) and d) below
b) Is the player allowed to put his ball back on the tee before playing his next shot?
c) Is the player allowed to move the tee sideways, place the ball on the tee and play from there?
d) Is the player allowed to move the tee forward 1 1/2 club lengths, place the ball on the tee and play from there?
3. Player uses the heel of his shoe to knock up a mound and places his ball on this. When he addresses the ball his feet are outside the teeing area.
What is the penalty and can the player correct it?
No penalty - legal actions in the teeing area
4. Player consider himself to be a woodworking specialist and makes his own tee pegs. He makes two different lengths - 3” and 5”.
a) On the tee he discovers that he has run out of 5” tees but uses one of his 3” ones - Any penalty?
No, provided that the tee conforms to Equipment Rules *
b) Searching, more assiduously through his bag he finds a 5” tee which he pushes 1/4” into the ground and plays ball from on top of it. - Any penalty?
General Penalty - tee does not conform to Equipment Rules *
c) Player uses 5” tee which he pushes fully into the ground and plays shot - Any penalty?
General Penalty - tee does not conform to Equipment Rules *. It is the length of the tee that determines whether or not a penalty is incurred, not how far out of the ground it protrudes
5. Adjacent to the 1st tee there are bags of soil which players are requested to take and use for repairing divots.
a) The player uses some of this soil to create a mound which he uses as a tee - Any penalty?
No penalty - in the early days of golf this is how the ball was teed up.
b) The mound that the player creates with this soil is 5 1/2” high - Any penalty?
No. The soil is considered to be the ground
c) The player creates a mound that is 3” high and then uses a 4” tee on top of this. - Any penalty?
No - a legal tee has been placed in the ground.
6. The player, wishing to use the full width of the teeing area, tees his ball immediately next to the tee marker.
He then moves the tee marker so that it does not interfere with his swing and plays his shot - Any penalty?
General Penalty, not allowed to move the tee markers of the hole being played.
7. Having played his tee shot the ball rebounds and lands immediately adjacent to and touching the tee marker.
Player removes tee marker before playing shot. Any penalty?
General Penalty - ball is in the teeing area of the hole being played so player may not remove tee markers
8. Having played his tee shot the ball comes to rest against a more forward tee marker.
The player removes the tee marker. Any penalty?
No, these are not the tee markers of the hole being played so are movable obstructions
In moving the tee marker the player causes the ball to move. Any penalty?
No penalty, ball must be replaced
9. On the tee the player takes a full practice swing.
The swing accidentally connects with the ball and sends it 30 yards forward and into a bush. What is the penalty? What are the players options?
No penalty, the ball was not in play. Play the original (or substituted) ball from the teeing area
10. On a par 3, the tee has a hedge growing immediately behind it. The hedge has several long shoots growing out of it. Having placed a tee in the ground with his ball on the tee and then taken his stance at the very back of the teeing area, one of these shoots interferes with the player’s backswing.
Player bends the shoot such that it no longer interferes with his swing. Before the player plays his shot his fellow competitor says that the player may not bend the shoot but may avoid a penalty by restoring the shoot to its original position and playing from;
a) only where the player originally intended - Is the fellow competitor correct?
Fellow competitor correct in saying that the shoot may be restored to its original position and a penalty avoided
b) anywhere in the teeing area - Is the fellow competitor correct?
Fellow competitor correct
Player does not believe his fellow competitor and plays the ball without restoring the shoot to its original position - any penalty?
Player does not believe his fellow competitor, does not restore the branch to its original position but moves to a different position on the tee so that the shoot no longer interferes with his backswing - any penalty?
General Penalty, because the shoot was not restored to its original position the penalty can not be avoided.
* Equipment Rules
A tee is a device designed to raise the ball off the ground. A tee must not:
be longer than 4 inches (101.6 mm);
be designed or manufactured in such a way that it could indicate line of play;
unduly influence the movement of the ball; or
otherwise assist the player in making a stroke or in his play.
Searching for answers. Quite a lot changed, in 2019, as far as searching for balls is concerned, so here are a few questions.
1. Player hits his tee shot into an area of rough. He searches for 2 minutes and then starts to walk back towards the tee. After another 45 seconds his fellow competitor calls out that he has found a ball.
There is not time for the player to return to his ball and formally identify it within the 3 minute search time. What are the player’s options?
When the player started to walk back to the tee he stopped searching for the ball and the “3 minute clock” stopped. He may return to the ball to identify it even though it will be more than 3 minutes by the time he gets back to the ball. His other option would be to continue back to the tee and play his 3rd shot.
2. Player hits his tee shot into the rough, walks forward and finds a ball within 3 minutes. Player marks the spot where the ball lies, lifts the ball to confirm that it is his. Fellow competitor says “I can not see any identifying mark on that ball, therefore it is deemed not be your ball and unless you find your ball within 3 minutes, your ball is lost and you will need to go back to the tee and play 3.” Player replies “This is a brand new Titleist Pro V1x number 99, which is what I hit from the tee. Surely that is enough to identify it”
Who is correct, Player (ball found and identified) or Opponent (ball found but deemed lost)
The Player is correct (change of Rule in 2019). A ball may now be identified by brand, model, number condition.
3. Same scenario as Q2 but this time the player has also hit an identical provisional ball into the same area. One of the balls is found. Fellow competitor 1. says “You are unable to determine whether or not that is your first ball or your provisional ball, therefore they are both lost and you must return to the tee and play 5.” Fellow competitor 2 says “That is a brand new Titleist ProV1 x number 99 that is good enough for me, you are playing 2 from here” Player says “Because I can not tell whether this my original or provisional, why don’t I call it my provisional and play 4 from here?
Who is correct? Competitor 1 - back to the tee, play 5; Competitor 2 - play 2; Player - play 4?
It is not possible to determine whether the found ball is the original or the provisional, so it is deemed to be the provisional. The Player is correct and should play his 4th shot from where the ball has been found
Q4. Same scenario as Q3, but this time both (identical) balls are found. One of them is Out of Bounds and one of them is still on the course.
What must the player do?
Again, the ball that is found is deemed to be the provisional and the Player plays his 4th shot.
Q5. Same scenario as Q3. Both balls are found in bounds.
What must the player do?
As both balls have been found in bounds, the Player must choose one of the balls and play it as his provisional (4th shot)
Q6. Player finds ball in the rough but he can not identify it as it lies. Calls his opponent over so that he can observe him identifying the ball. Rotates the ball very carefully so as to not change the lie and identifies the ball.
Assuming that it was his drive that the Player hit into the rough, how many is he now playing?
The player did not mark his ball before attempting to identify it so he incurs a penalty of one stroke. He is playing 3.
Q7. Player finds ball in the rough but he can not identify it as it lies. Calls his opponent over to observe him identifying the ball. Marks position of the ball. Lifts it and cleans all the mud off it and identifies the ball.
Assuming that it was his drive that the Player hit into the rough, how many is he now playing?
Player is only allowed to clean enough of the ball to be able to identify it. 1 shot penalty, playing 3
Q8. Player finds ball in the rough but he can not identify it as it lies. Does NOT call opponent over to observe him identifying the ball. Marks position of the ball. Lifts it and identifies the ball. Replaces ball from where he had lifted it.
Assuming that it was his drive that the Player hit into the rough, how many is he now playing?
Player has proceeded correctly. There is now no requirement to call your opponent / fellow competitor to observe you identifying the ball. Playing 2
Q9. In searching for his drive in the rough, player accidentally kicks and moves the ball that he then correctly identifies as his. He replaces the ball where he estimates it was when he kicked it.
Will his next shot be the Players second, third, fourth or fifth?
There is no penalty if you accidentally move the ball when searching for it. Second shot
Q10. In searching for his drive in the rough, player accidentally kicks and moves the ball that he then correctly identifies as his. He does not replace the ball but plays it from where he kicked it.
Will his next shot be the Players second, third, fourth or fifth?
No penalty for accidentally moving the ball when searching for it. General Penalty for playing the ball from a wrong place. Fourth shot.