Rules FAQ

Rule 

Ball in Play Moved by Wind or Gravity

Q. A player replaces his ball on the putting green and the ball is at rest. Without addressing the ball the player steps away to read his putt.

The ball moves either due to the wind or the slope of the putting green. How should the player proceed?

A. The player must play his ball from the new position without penalty.

If the ball was moved into the hole then the player is deemed to have holed out with his previous stroke (Decision 20-3d/1).

Note: It is not relevant whether the player had removed his ball-marker before the ball was moved by the wind or gravity as the player's ball was in play when it was replaced (Rule 20-4).

Below you can view videos related to this Rule.

Video

Outside agency decided to wreak havoc with the ball

At the 1998 Players Championship, Steve Lowery's ball was at rest on the green when an outside agency decided to wreak havoc with the ball.

Below you can view videos related to this Rule.

Video

Company in this bunker during the first round of the 2003 U.S. Senior Open

Bob Murphy’s ball had company in this bunker during the first round of the 2003 U.S. Senior Open… belonging to his fellow competitor, Hubert Green. Green’s ball struck and moved Murphy’s ball then came to rest on the spot where Murphy’s ball had originally been located.

Below you can view videos related to this Rule.

Video

Approach shot strikes another player's ball already on the green

Watch what happens on this shot by Patty Sheehan at the 1989 U.S. Women's Open. Her approach shot strikes another player's ball already on the green.

Below you can view videos related to this Rule.

Video

Approach shot came to rest in a tree left of the green

At the 2000 William's World Challenge, Bernhard Langer's approach shot came to rest in a tree left of the green. Langer declared his ball unplayable to protect himself from incurring a penalty for moving his ball into play during a search.

Below you can view videos related to this Rule.

Video

Moved by another ball

Mhairi McKay’s approach shot during the third round of the 2003 US Women’s Open was “dead on”… but not exactly what she had hoped. McKay’s ball sailed into the bunker, colliding with the ball of Hillary Lunke, her fellow-competitor.