Rules Corner Blog

Ball Strikes An Outside Agency

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By Rob Ockenfuss

Kohler, Wis. – Second-round leader Suzann Pettersen’s approach to the 11th hole during the third round struck a sprinkler head and bounced well beyond the hole. As defined by the Rules of Golf, a sprinkler head is an obstruction, but it is also an outside agency.

If a player’s ball in motion is accidentally stopped or deflected by an outside agency, it is a rub of the green, there is no penalty and the ball must be played as it lies (Rule 19-1).

These are the types of bounces that occur during a round of golf and the player must accept the result, whether good or bad. Pettersen was able to two-putt and make a par on the hole.

Rob Ockenfuss is a Manager, Rules Inquiries. Email him at rockenfuss@usga.org. 

 

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