Our Experts Explain

Article Rating: starstarstarstarstar

Multiple Strikes, Multiple Strokes

Posted: 1/23/2014

Why was Phil Mickelson assessed a penalty stroke at a recent PGA European Tour event?

If you’ve played enough golf, you have probably tried it yourself. Your ball comes to rest in a position where it is impossible to make a traditional right- or left-handed stroke. So, you try to play it from the opposite side of the ball.

This is exactly what Phil Mickelson, a left-handed player, attempted to do during the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship last Sunday. Mickelson was three under par for the round through the first 12 holes when his tee shot on the par-4 13th came to rest under a bush. In an attempt to extricate the ball on his next stroke, Mickelson played the ball right-handed, something he has done many times in the past.

Unfortunately, during this stroke, the ball bounced up and struck Mickelson’s club a second time. Rule 14-4 states:

“If a player’s club strikes the ball more than once in the course of a stroke, the player must count the stroke and add a penalty stroke, making two strokes in all.”

In Mickelson’s case, his stroke from under the bush counted, and after including the penalty stroke, his next shot (which he again hit right-handed) was his fourth. He went on to make a triple-bogey 7 on the hole and finished in a tie for second, one stroke behind champion Pablo Larrazábal.   

The USGA will provide up to two Rules of Golf books for minimal shipping-and-handling charges. Contact the USGA Order Department at 1-800-336-4446, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET), or go to the USGA Shop on usga.org.



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