Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ask Linda #306-Swing knocks ball off tee

This question is more hypothetical since I am sure that no one I know has ever done anything like this.  One of our players was on the teeing ground and swung and knocked the ball off the tee. He re-teed, which I know is wrong, but I am not sure of the rule. The question I have is if a player misses a ball completely while it is teed up can he then move the ball to another location on the tee? Or is that ball in play and if it is then accidentally knocked off the tee is this a stroke and can it then be re-teed? Like I said I know this would never happen but just in case. Thank you!
Lou Lou

Dear Lou Lou,

When a player swings at his ball on the teeing ground with the intention of hitting it, the ball is “in play.” It makes no difference whether he hits the ball 200 yards, 2 inches, or misses it entirely.

After the stroke, if the ball is no longer sitting on the tee, he must play it as it lies on the ground, even though it may still be on the teeing ground. If he swings and misses, and the ball is still sitting on the tee, he will make his next stroke at the ball on the tee. In both cases, the second time he swings will count as his second stroke.

Once the player has made a stroke at his ball on the teeing ground he is not permitted to re-tee the ball or move the teed ball to another location. If he does so, he has played his ball under penalty of stroke and distance. In other words, he has lifted his ball in play and returned to where he hit his previous shot. Count one stroke for the original swing and one penalty stroke for proceeding under stroke and distance. His second swing on the teeing ground at the ball he has re-teed will be his third stroke on the hole.

The rule references for the above information are the following:
• Definition of “Ball in Play”
• Definition of “Stroke”
• Rule 27-1a (Stroke and Distance)
• Decision 18-2a/2 (“Ball Falling Off Tee When Stroke Just Touches It Is Picked Up and Re-Teed”)

Copyright © 2011 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.