Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ask Linda #294–Practice swing moves ball

Hi Linda,
We met at your Rules Clinic in Pennsylvania. Thank you for your seminar. I have a question about something that was discussed. You had stated that while making a practice swing and accidentally moving your ball you are able to replace it without penalty. Could you tell me where I can find that in the rule book? I am having a debate with my friend. He believes that there should be a stroke incurred and I was unable to find it in the rule book.
Thank you,

Dear Lulu,

What I told you during the rules clinic, Lulu, is that a practice swing is not a stroke, since you are not trying to hit the ball.

A player has not made a stroke at the ball unless she swings at it with the intention of hitting it (Definition of Stroke). When you take a practice swing, you are not planning to hit the ball, so it does not count as a stroke.

If you hit your ball when you take a practice swing, you have accidentally moved your ball in play. Rule 18-2a will tell you that if a player moves a ball in play, she incurs a penalty of one stroke and must replace the ball.

Your friend is correct, Lulu. When you accidentally move your ball in play while taking a practice swing, you incur a one-stroke penalty and you must replace your ball before you hit it.

I am delighted to learn that you are discussing the rules with your friends, and that you are seeking advice when you have a difference of opinion. This is a great way to learn the rules.

Copyright © 2011 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.