QA-MIS-8: I got to the course late, after the two-minute warning, and found out I had been assigned to hole 12, which is all the way on the other side of the park. There’s no way I could get there in time, so I was looking at getting par plus four for missing the hole. Then I noticed that hole 3, which is close, only had a threesome. If I join them, I get a two-throw penalty for starting on the wrong hole and/or in the wrong group, saving two strokes. Clever, right?
Not so much. Intentionally misplaying a hole to your advantage can get you DQ’ed. The rules about starting on the wrong hole or in the wrong group are intended to address inadvertent mistakes. Deliberately starting in the wrong group to avoid a greater penalty puts you at risk of a greater penalty, including DQ. In this case, the TD could reasonably assess both penalties: par plus four on your first hole (for being late), and two penalty throws for starting on the wrong hole.