Is it legal to use your cart to strategically shade the ball? Guy rules

What do the rules say about strategic shadows?

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Tough golf rules! Fortunately, we have a teacher. Our rules man knows the book from front to back. Got a question? He has all the answers.

Beautiful sunny day, match play. I drive by the ball in the driveway, the shade from my cart over my ball. My opponent told me I needed to move my cart, and that the shadow over the ball was improving my lying. Is he joking? it’s not. I move my cart and play. Is he right or crazy? —Daniel Kramer, Scottsdale, Ariz.

So, your opponent cast a shadow over you, eh?

Let’s put it this way, Daniel: He’s half right, at least from a grammar perspective. “Shading” the ball does not improve the lie about Rule 8.1.

But the player cannot deliberately place something with the purpose of blocking sunlight; Doing so would violate Rule 10.2b(5). [see interpretation 10.2b(5)1] He receives a general penalty of two hits in play and forfeits the hole in playing the match. If you did not intentionally put the cart there for this purpose, there is no breach of this rule.

However, in the future, find a place to park away from your ball – more exercise never hurts anyone.

For more shade-related tips from our expert, read on…

A golfer carries a bucket and a water bottle to the course.

Guy’s rules: Can I spray a fist with water and dry it to make it sticky before the stroke?


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Living in Southern California has its advantages, like playing winter golf, but it also has its drawbacks. Late one afternoon, I had a 40-foot eagle with the sun right behind the pin at ground level—I stood on my ball, looking at the pin, the glare meaning I couldn’t see the pin, let alone read the green. Could I have had other players in the quadruple amphitheater to block the sun, or would that be a violation of the rules? Needless to say, I’m three on an equal footing. —Tony Vina, Camarillo, Calif.

Although it is often attributed to Mark Twain, it was Twain’s friend and fellow writer Charles Dudley Warner who said, “Everyone complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”

Perhaps this is because everyone knows Rule 10.2b(5), which prohibits players from using anyone as protection from the elements — sunlight, wind, rain, what have you — lest they incur the general penalty of two strikes in play or lose the hole in a play match . Or maybe not.

Either way, you’re in California… Shouldn’t you always have cool sunglasses at the ready?

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Do you have a question about the rules? Ask the guy the rules! Send your queries, confusions, and comments to We promise he won’t throw the book at you.

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