Our Experts Explain

Article Rating: starstarstarstarstar

When Is A Swing Not A Stroke?

Posted: 10/4/2011

During the third round of the 2011 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas, Nev., Kevin Na was playing the par-4 15th hole. As he started the downswing for his tee shot, he felt something was amiss. He continued the swing, but purposely missed his ball. Did the swing count as a stroke?

The definition of a stroke in the Rules of Golf is the “forward movement of the club made with the intention of striking at and moving the ball, but if the player checks his downswing voluntarily before the clubhead reaches the ball he has not made a stroke.”

Decision 14/1.5 asks, if a player who begins his downswing with the intention of striking the ball decides during the downswing not to strike the ball and is unable to stop his swing, but swings over the top of the ball instead, has he made a stroke? The answer is that altering the path of the swing to miss the ball is the same as checking the downswing as we occasionally see Tiger Woods do. If Na had hit the ball, the stroke would have counted even if he stated that he had intended to miss it. Additionally, if the player missed the ball, but there is any doubt as to the player’s intention the stroke would count.

In his interview after the round, Na stated that he has purposely altered his swing to miss the ball in the past and has discussed this with PGA Tour officials. They are comfortable with his statement that he did not intend to strike the ball.

Rate this article:
Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

Chevron image

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.

Rolex image

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

AmEx image
American Express

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment

AmEx image