Rules FAQ

Rule 18-2

Practice Swing Accidentally Moves Ball before Stroke on Teeing Ground

Q. Before making a stroke on the teeing ground, a player makes a practice swing and accidentally knocks the ball off the tee with the club. Is there a penalty?

A. There is no penalty as the ball was not in play. Additionally, the player has not made a stroke - see Definition of "Stroke." The player must put a ball into play from the teeing ground. (Decision 18-2a/19)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.