Roger Lee Harris, 63, and Bryan Bandes, 43, could have chosen any of the traditional reasons for guys to fight from women to football teams to politics. However, while playing a round of golf in Uniontown, Pa, the two men turned violent over a disagreement on the rules addressing “casual water.” The case was eventually dismissed by the brilliantly named Judge Robert Breakiron.
Casual water is defined as:
A temporary accumulation of water which is visible before or after the player takes his stance. The temporary accumulation of water must be on the course but not in a water hazard. A ball is considered in casual water when any part of the ball touches it. The entire ball does not have to be in the condition.
Snow and natural Ice are either casual water or loose impediments (player’s option). Manufactured Ice is an obstruction. Dew and Frost are not considered casual water.
The two men appear to have disagreed on how to handle casual water. The same site quoted above states:
RELIEF:If a temporary accumulation of water is seen before or after the player takes his stance (but not in a water hazard), or the ball is touching casual water, the player is entitled to relief without penalty. If the ball is not in a hazard or on the green, the point of nearest relief must be found (i)that is not nearer the hole (ii)does not touch the interference by the casual water (iii)is not in a hazard or on a green. The player must drop the ball within one club length of the point. IN A BUNKER, the ball must be dropped at the nearest spot to where the ball lay no nearer the hole, in a part of the bunker which offers the maximum available relief. For instance, if the entire bunker is covered with water, the player must drop the ball in the shallowest part of the bunker no nearer the hole. NOTE–under penalty of one stroke, the player may drop a ball on a line between where the ball lay and the hole, but no nearer the hole. ON THE GREEN: if the ball is on the green, the player must lift the ball and place it at the nearest point to where it lay which offers maximum available relief from the casual water, but not nearer the hole and not in a hazard. This point may be off the green.
In this case, however, the alleged relief of Harris was found by hitting Bandes over the head with a 3-wood.
Now for the interesting twist. Both men were charged but both then refused to testify against each other. It appears that some things have to stay on the course and out of the court.
This is when Judge Breakiron enters the story and dismissed the case but warned the men: “I don’t want you to be back again in this courtroom or I’m going to assess you two penalty strokes.”