Rule Tip of the Month – September

Rule 15 Substituted Ball: Wrong Ball

Rule 15-1 General

A player must hole out with the ball played from the teeing ground, unless the ball is lost or out of bounds or the player substitutes another ball, whether or not substitution is permitted (see Rule 15-2).  If a player plays a wrong ball, see Rule 15-3.

Rule 15-2 Substituted Ball

A player may substitute a ball when proceeding under a Rule that permits the player to play, drop or place another ball in completing the play of a hole.  The substituted ball becomes the ball in play.

If a player substitutes a ball when not permitted to do so under the Rules (including an unintentional substitution when a wrong ball is dropped or placed by the player), that substituted ball is not a wrong ball; it becomes the ball in play.  If the mistake is not corrected as provided in Rule 20-6 and the player makes a stoke at the incorrectly substituted ball, he loses the hole in match play or incurs a penalty of two strokes in stroke play under the applicable Rule and, in stroke play, must play out the hole with the substituted ball.