Dan of Golden, Colorado writes:
I'm a new golfer. Player A hits onto green. Player B is in the rough but closer to the pin. Whose turn is it?
Thank you for your question.
Your question gives me a great opportunity to "strut my stuff." One reason I was considered a decent teacher was due to something I had learned from my original mentor, golf professional Richard Eduard "Bumps" Barnes. (RIP)
He taught me the value of answering a students question with a question. Students learn faster and better when they are taught how to help themselves. (Plus they soon learn to quit bothering you and start figuring it out for themselves.).
So Dan, before you read the answer below, please answer my question - "Who do you think should go first ?" Just remember whatever you decide must also apply to all other shots on the course.
So how does the following answer compare to yours?
It is always the player who is the farthest from the hole who has "the honor." Having "the honor" simply means it's their turn to play and it doesn't matter whether their ball is on the green or in a sand trap.
When you stop and think about it, it's the only logical way to play the game of golf. Could you suggest any other way for a number of players to play golf from tee to green without fighting over who's turn it is? Think about it!!!
Having "the honor" also means you have the right to allow someone closer to the hole to go ahead of you - but it's completely your choice. Often we do allow someone closer to go ahead of us in order to help speed up play but that's another story for another day.