U.S. Open

Pinehurst Resort & Country Club (Course No. 2)

Now What?

By Stephen Hennessey Illustrations by Zohar Lazar
September 20, 2011

1. You're sharing a cart with an opponent, and you drop him off so he can play his shot. As you drive away, he hits the cart with his ball. Is there a penalty? If so, who gets it?

a) Yes. You're penalized one stroke.

b) Yes. Your opponent loses the hole.

c) No. And he's allowed to replay the shot.

2. You're carrying the maximum allotment of 14 clubs, when you find another player's wedge on the course. Can you be penalized for putting the wedge in your bag even if you don't use it?

a) Yes.

b) No.

3. Your opponent is in a greenside bunker, while your ball is on the fringe. When he hits his shot, it sprays sand all around your ball, affecting your lie. Can you take relief?

a) Yes. Take one club-length from a spot where you can play without interference from the sand.

b) No. But you can mark the ball's position, remove the sand on your line, and clean your ball.

c) No. You must play the ball as it lies.

4. A fellow-competitor discovers that his ball is on dry land but within a water hazard. In frustration, he slams his club down inside the boundary of the hazard. He addresses the ball and plays his next shot. Should he be penalized?

a) Yes. The penalty is two strokes for touching the ground in a hazard before making a stroke.

b) No. He had yet to address the ball.

5. You notify your opponent you need to identify your ball. You then rotate it to confirm it's yours. Are you allowed to do this?

a) Yes, as long as you marked its position first.

b) No.


6. Your ball comes to rest next to some poison ivy. Can you take relief without penalty?

a) Yes, drop your ball one club-length from the nearest point of relief, no closer to the hole.

__b) __No.

7. Your second shot on a par 5 strikes the flagstick lying on the green that the group ahead had removed for putting. Should you be penalized for this?

a) No. Since the flagstick was not removed by your authority, you're OK.

b) Yes. You're penalized two strokes.

c) Yes. You're penalized one stroke.


8. A fellow-competitor, walking through the rough, steps on your ball and moves it. Is there a penalty?

a) Yes. It's two strokes, and the ball must be replaced.

b) No. But the ball must be replaced.

9. Your tee shot lands next to a tree root. You take a swing but hit the root and miss the ball. If you deem the ball unplayable, can you go back to the tee for your fourth shot?

a) Yes. You didn't move the ball.

b) No. You can replay only the previous stroke, which was taken under the tree, not back at the tee box.

10. Before playing from a bunker, you dig your feet into the sand and simulate a stroke without a wedge. You then step out and get a club, dig in again, and play. Is this allowed?

__a) __No. Once you dig into the sand, you must hit from those footprints.

b) Yes. You can take your stance more than once before playing a shot in a bunker, provided you're not improving your lie or testing the surface.


(1) C, Rule 19-3

(2) B, Decision 4-4a/8

(3) B, Decision 13-2/8.5

(4) A, Rule 13-4

(5) A, Decision 12-2/2

(6) B, Decision 1-4/11

(7) A, Decision 17-3/3

(8) B, Rule 18-4

(9) B, Decision 28/7

(10) B, Decision 13-4/24