A Christmas Rules Quiz

Try this little Rules-quiz for Christmas:

1) Santa Claus plays his first stroke from the tee box at hole 6 (stroke play).
2) He finds a ball in the rough and plays a great stroke – the ball ends on the putting green!
3) Unfortunately, on the putting green he realizes that it was not his ball.
4) He returns to the rough and spends six minutes further searching for his ball, but does not find it.
5) He therefore returns to the tee box and plays a new ball and holes out in five strokes from there.

What is Santa’s score for the hole? Answers below please:



13 thoughts on “A Christmas Rules Quiz

  1. 1 off the tee, 2 for playing the wrong ball, 1 for looking for over 5 minutes minutes, 1 off the first again for a 5


  2. Well, of course, even the hardest-hearted Match Captain is not going to inflict penalty shots on dear old Santa – not if he wants something good in his Christmas stocking :-)).

    So the answer has to be: he got a birdie 3 (his 3rd shot was a gimme).

    But for those interested, here’s how we calculate his score on Hole 6:

    1 (stroke from the tee-box)
    2 and 3 (penalty strokes – playing a wrong ball)
    4 (penalty stroke – stroke and distance since his first ball is lost)
    5 and 6 and 7 and 8 and 9 (five strokes taken thereafter).

    Total: 9 strokes.


    There is not a penalty of two strokes for searching more than 5 minutes. Decision 6-7/2 addresses the question and states that the player unduly delays play only if he searches more than 10 minutes for a lost ball. That is not the case in the above scenario (presuming that he searched only a few minutes before he found the first ball).

    Decision 6-7/1 in our humble opinion is not relevant in this situation, since it is a very different scenario.

    The stroke from the rough is a stroke with the wrong ball – which does not count in his score.

    Although it is true that no-one by the name of Claus has paid subs, Santa naturally has complimentary playing rights on all golf courses world-wide at any time of the day or night. He may also use his reindeer-drawn sleigh instead of a buggy – provided his elves follow behind to clear up any mess (Decision on Rule 35).

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